We’ve inadvertently visited two restaurants specialising in sharing plates this month, albeit very different. While Plates by Purnell’s is rustic and relaxed, Fumo is more fancy with lots of marble, gold accents and statement lighting.
Part of the San Carlo group of restaurants, Fumo isn’t new on the scene, but it’s been a while since we visited. Also, our options were limited as finding a restaurant open on a Monday in Brum is like trying to bag tickets for the Eras tour. If you’re celebrating any occasion on a Monday, godspeed. A sign of the tough times hospitality and indeed diners find themselves in.
Cicchetti – Italian medium plates rather than small – is the name of the game at Fumo and the menu is massive. We quaffed Champagne while we got to grips with it which helped immeasurably. One thing to note is the dishes aren’t much smaller than your average main course. The restaurant suggests five or six dishes between two people which turned out to be a lot of food.
Also worth noting, we chose a handful of the heavier dishes on the menu such as magnificent gnocchi with gorgonzola, rich tasty lasagne and a melt in mouth slow cooked short rib of beef. They were great, but there are plenty of lighter plates too. The beetroot carpaccio was superb, served with goat’s cheese and topped with herby crunchy breadcrumbs. Nicely cooked halibut with samphire, tomato and chilli was knock out and the pollo Milanese was perfect with a squeeze of lemon.
The staff were fantastic and without prompting, clocked it was a celebration and brought out a plate of desserts with a candle and a birthday message penned in white chocolate. A nice touch. Having ended up at Fumo partly by default, it turned into one of those memorable lunches that drifts into late afternoon limoncello territory leaving us with happy hearts and full stomachs. What else do you need?