Have you ever been to a place and thought “Damn, am I really in Guangzhou?”
That's exactly what comes to mind at Fuel, where endless attention, serious comfort and carefully orchestrated pleasures abound. An inspired French restaurant with an uber-cool bar and rooftop lounge in Party Pier, this fine two-floor spread is chic and swanky, with avant-garde furnishings and a classy vibe that transports you to what is to come.
Right by the wall of bottles on the fourth floor, steep stairs lead to an open-air lounge. As night falls, you’ll be rubbing elbows with the parade of foodies, hotties, A-listers and trendsetters, enjoying an imaginative selection of liquid hedonisms, from tried-and-true favorites to eclectic newcomers ripe for discovery.
It’s nice to see chefs get super fussy with technique and show off a bit. After all, luxury was born out of fuss, and taking on this Sisyphean task is culinary artist Chef Greg and Executive Chef Steven. They don’t just want you to enjoy the experience – they'll ensure you’re left dreaming about it days later.
Start the journey with tradition: goose liver (RMB148). Tinged with black truffle and topped with a slice of iced pear jelly, the crunch of figs and brioche add a pleasing texture that is sheer magic on a plate. The beef tartare trio (RMB168) is delightful and not quite as raw as the name suggests, which is brilliant given it’s served three ways.
Pushing the boundaries of technique and adding further oomph is the tomato gazpacho (RMB88). Though not traditionally French, the combination of king crab, avocado puree and cold, refreshing soup poured over it is comforting. Be greedy, for this is an orgasm in your mouth you won’t want to miss. Dip some freshly made bread to sop it all up; it’s made daily and served with Fuel’s own mix of homemade butters.
For mains, the Fuel black cod (RMB288) is a must-have. The powerful depth of the black olive paste and natural sweetness of the caramelized onions adds an elevating dimension. Beef lovers will adore the slowed-cooked veal shank (RMB198) in a rich, piquant tomato cumin sauce.
Vegetarian? Try the wild mushroom risotto; it’s hearty and lives up to expectations. End the meal not just with dessert, but as the French do: with a cheese platter (RMB138). You should follow your heart and pair it with some vin rouge, for dessert is just as delightful as the rest of the experience.
Of the five, the la tarte tatin (RMB78) comes tops – tuile, pecan biscuit, mousse and caramelized apples bring it all to a climax. It’s not very sweet though, so those expecting a sugar rush might have to look elsewhere.
Behind the glass of the open kitchen, the skill and time that goes into every experience at Fuel is starkly evident. Of course, a meal will set you back some serious dough, so come ready to splurge.
It’s sexy, classy and cool. And adding a couple of notches to that threesome are those hot DJ’s manning the decks and dropping some serious beats to get the party slammin’. So dress for a fine meal, then remove that coat and let your hair loose for a view-worthy rooftop party with Fuel in your belly. You’ll be glad you did.
Who’s going: foodies on an empty stomach, well-traveled gourmands
Good for: lushly presented dishes, imaginative flavor combinations
Nearest metro: Canton Tower (Exit A), 24 minutes
Open daily, 5.30pm-2am (last food order 10.30pm weekdays, 11pm weekends); see listing for Fuel.