It was my second time at FYN Restaurant and I went with some trepidation. You know that feeling when you loved something so much the first time that you are almost certain the second experience will not live up to your expectations? No need to have been concerned. It was still an incredible experience.
Whereas the last time I had limited myself to the reduced tasting menu, this time we had time for the full menu. As we worked our way through the canapés served in bento boxes: octopus, shishito pepper and goat’s cheese, Karoo lamb samosa and miso soup served up in a gelatin ball on a teaspoon, it all felt very playful and delightful. We dug into the bone marrow coal with the furikake Indombolo, mopping up every last bit of the melted butter. As our waiter said when he introduced himself: FYN is a fusion of Asian and African cuisine.
The ‘squid ramen’, game fish with Ishikawa rice, rice-smoked duck breast and truffle chawanmushi made up the Kaiseki tray. It was like being a kid in a candy store, so much to taste and to try as the excitement took over. Everything on that tray introduced a different flavour and texture and yet it all worked.
The palate cleaner, itself a show of presentation moved us to the next course. Edible flower petals, frozen with liquid nitrogen at our table, which we then crushed with the provided pestle, onto which the sorbet was placed. The grass-fed beef fillet with green bean ‘risotto’ and roast tomatillo finished off our mains.
The sweet Kaiseki tray wrapped up a fine lunch. I particularly enjoyed the blackberries with yuzu and coconut. The ‘dream team’ of Peter Tempelhoff, Ashley Moss and Jennifer Hugé have created a perfect space in the city for a fine dining experience that’s a good combination of creative and experimental. FYN offers a beautiful balance between playfulness and a gastronomical experience without losing sight of what the experience is truly about – the food. The service was professional, the ambience surprisingly cosy for the high ceilings and dark décor, but it is the open kitchen that gives the whole place the feeling of sitting in a friend’s dining room while being served up haûte cuisine.