Tapas Fusion Bar: Anything but Mexican
Tapas Fusion Bar is hard to miss. A yellow board towards the end of the DHA Y-Block Commercial Area grabs your attention from afar and lights the dark pathways surrounding it. The picture of a sombrero sets the mood. A warm summery glow fills the restaurant and transports you to what I would imagine a traditional Mexican restaurant to be.
In a Nutshell:
- A swanky single story set up
- Misleading name
- Good food, generous servings
- Jalapeno poppers are a must try
- Don’t expect traditional tapas style servings
- Family friendly
When my friends and I entered the place, it was completely empty. There was a display freezer loaded with desserts cooling the space. We made our way upstairs to the dining area. A red sign in Spanish lit up the area, giving it a very film noir feel. A sofa rested against the wall underneath the sign. Spanish music filled the air – and when the waiter left us alone upstairs, we let a little tango out too!
While the ambiance was great, the at Tapas Fusion Bar menu was underwhelming. Originally from Spain, tapas are supposed to be small plates of food- almost like snacks – to be consumed with drinks. Of course, since we are in Pakistan, I expected some adaptations to the concept but had hoped for an authentic Spanish menu full of traditional flavors. What they offered was anything but. It was quickly very clear to us that the ‘fusion’ bit in the name was not due to the lack of alcoholic beverages but due to the food being served.
We settled on an order and decided to try the Jalapeno Poppers, Cannelloni, and Tarragon Chicken. Of course, the last two were more appropriate as traditional full-size entrees than small plates but they sounded like safe choices. The waiters were a little too eager and kept trying to recommend things. Although it can be helpful when asked for, that evening I was not looking to be served by a salesman. However, since the place is new, I understand that the gentleman was only trying to get us to test some of their signature items on the menu.
The Jalapeno Poppers arrived about fifteen minutes after we placed the order: four stuffed jalapenos, and a sort of mayonnaise-based dip. We were super hungry and dove right in. Soon my mouth was on fire, and I got the hiccups because it was so spicy! But it was so good too. I bit into my second jalapeno, better prepared this time for what was to come. For all those who like spice and crunch, these jalapeno poppers are it guys!
The Tarragon Chicken was alright. The chicken was grilled, and flavorful. The tarragon sauce was a little bit too salty. It was served with vegetables on the side and mashed potatoes. I’m not sure what was up with the mashed potatoes. They formed a big pool on the side of the plate and tasted like they had been tossed with onions. Almost like a desi potato cutlet. Not a fan at all.
The Cannelloni was a very interesting dish. A pasta entree, it was served almost like a lasagna. Under the layer of cheese, there was spinach and chicken rolled in pasta, covered with marinara sauce. The marinara was spectacular. Not too tangy, and a perfect shade of red. The pasta was also amazingly light – despite all the cheese sauce. Tapas Fusion Bar wasn’t stingy with any of their ingredients and the pasta was very flavorful. The only thing lacking was texture. The minced meat and lack of any vegetables that retain their shape made it very mushy. I wish they had either used bigger pieces of chicken or thicker pasta so as to give the dish a little texture.
Our experience at Tapas Fusion Bar was actually quite good. All the dishes sold are actually very reasonably priced which is refreshing. The staff served their Caramel Trifle on the house and it was actually pretty good. A layer of thick custard layered with cream and caramel on the top. Even though it was very rich in flavor, it felt light and was not overwhelmingly sweet as I had feared.
Even though Tapas Fusion Bar is not what I expected, I would still recommend it for its unique ambiance. The Jalapeno Poppers were life-changing, and such affordable prices in one of the poshest neighborhoods in town are truly worth enjoying while they last.
Tapas Fusion Bar, DHA, +92320 3533322