My Food Place of the Week: Fumo

I have heard alot about Fumo, about its unique concept of doing Italian tapas, some were good reviews and some were not so good. Consequently, I had to try it out for myself and see how it compared to the other Italian restaurants in town.
I visited on a Tuesday and thought it would quiet but I was very much mistaken, as it was very lively and quite full. The bar and dining area is of a gold theme and it is quite spacious and decorated with Italian food apparatus. The waiter recommended that I have three dishes (this is Italian food, tapas style, so a multiple of dishes is best, as they are small portions) and was very good about finding out if items on the menu were suitable for my allergies. In the end, I was a tad cheeky and ordered 4, as I was super hungry.

First up, was the Crab and Avocado Salad, which was served cold on a lettuce leaf and tomatoes. The crab was served with diced carrots, was delicious and the ideal portion for a tapas dish. The avocado had a thin layer on it's skin on, which I found a little odd but it was easy to take off and it didn't taste bad with the skin either. Don't you think it looks like apple slices in the image? The dish was nice but nothing amazing.

Second was Grilled Aubergine on a bed of rocket with sliced tomatoes. It also came with a tiny bowl of fish, I didn't eat this, as I didn't recognise what fish it was. The aubergine was smothered with oil, so much so that I couldn't taste the aubergine.

Third was Tagliolini Missoni, which was spaghetti with capers, olives and asparagus. It was all cooked perfectly but I felt it needed that extra zing to make it an amazing dish because a nice meal isn't what makes me go back to a restaurant, it is a fantastic meal.

Lastly, I went for the Risotto Mushroom, which was a risotto (obviously) with two types of mushrooms and asparagus with a hint of parsley. This was my favourite of the four because it had flavour and mushrooms.

Food - 2/5
Although the food was good, you could tell the produce was of the highest quality but all the dishes seemed to be lacking that x factor, that jena se qua that would make them amazing.

Dairy-free options? - 5/5
There were quite a few options, the waiter helped out enormously by asking the chef and the manager was able to list the ingredients without a problem. It is funny how when you say you want dairy free, some places seem to think that means vegan. Or is that me just being awkward?

Service - 5/5
Fantastic service, I cannot fault this. One of the waiters did get bossy at one point when I wanted to order a fourth dish but that doesn't stop him from delivering a high standard of customer service.

Atmosphere - 2/5
I found Fumo to have a very high level of pretension, another reason why I wouldn't go again. I like places that treat you equally, no matter what you look like.

Cleanliness - 5/5
Also cannot be faulted, as the staff are conscientious and quick.

Location - 5/5
The restaurant faces Pigeon Park and is very accessible and easy to get to but parking would be an issue on the weekend..

Value for Money - 2/5
Altogether the 4 dishes cost me £30. Which is a tad excessive for me, especially as I didn't enjoy my meal throughly. For that price for 1, I expect a very high standard of food and I felt that wasn't delivered.

Is it worth trying? Maybe, if you have a well paid job.

Pros
Amazing idea of Italian tapas, great service and ideal location in Birmingham City Centre.

Cons
Food missing that jena se qua, high level of pretension and expensive.

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