If there’s one style of food – burritos aside – where Edinburgh is quite poorly served it’s Chinese. There’s the odd decent place, with B&D’s generally the one I recommend when asked, but there’s a huge prevalence of mediocrity.
I noticed that the former Mandarin House had recently rebranded (I get the impression it’s still in the same ownership) as Fusion Gourmet. I was intrigued enough to give it a look on a relaxed Saturday.
The interior has been considerably smartened with a stylish and contemporary feel to it. The menu has likewise been overhauled. As with the previous incarnation, the focus is squarely on the needs of their customers for whom Chinese is a native cuisine.
Menu descriptions are a little odd and the pricing feels rather wonky. A dish called griddled potatoes was priced at £13.10, for example. A paused to consider whether curiosity was worth the investment as I nibbled on a tasty prawn cracker, but decided not.
I stuck to a more recognisable route starting with salt and chilli tofu then followed with braised duck in the Hunan style. I accompanied things with impressively good jasmine tea.
The starter promptly arrived. The portion was enough for two to three people. The cubes of tofu were crisp clouds of spicy goodness. It was a really pleasing rendition of a dish I eat pretty regularly in Chinese places.
The main course arrived while I was still dealing with the end of my tofu. It was a mountain of slow cooked, on the bone duck that was packed with flavour. I’d ordered accompanying rice in which I put only a tiny dent. It was delicious, but overwhelming in amount.
So overall, Fusion Gourmet looks to offer a really attractive option in the desert of Edinburgh Chinese options. The “fusion” of their title seems only to refer to the breadth of Chinese styles they cover rather than any attempt to deliver a crispy duck burrito or sweet n sour burger, which was good news. I’d recommend it to you, particularly if you’ve grown weary of misfiring options to meet a longing for this style of cooking in other Edinburgh eetablishments.
Blythe scores Fusion Gourmet
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20
I ate: salt and chilli tofu; braised duck Hunan style, fried rice
I drank: jasmine tea
I wore: grey jacket
Total bill: £20.80
Address: 14-18 Lady Lawson Street, Edinburgh EH3 9DS