Published On: Mon, Jan 2nd, 2012

Fusionarie Japanese Signature

By: Denise Righetti

Fusionarie is the latest Japanese restaurant to open up in Royal Palm Place in Downtown Boca, and I set out on a mission to find out just what makes this one different from the other two Asian-inspired restaurants situated in the same plaza. Fusionarie stems from the word “fusion” and this is the name that best describes both the type of dishes you’ll find on the Fusionarie menu as well as the ambiance they’ve created there.  Not your typical Japanese offerings, you’ll find items such as Bahamian Conch Salad, a Surf and Turf Maki roll made with lobster tempura and topped with torched New York strip, as well as many dishes that incorporate tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango and guacamole.

I decided to pop in on a Saturday early evening before heading to the theatre and took a seat at the sushi bar. I ran into the owner of the establishment, a young man named Edison Song, who, despite his young age, is the owner of several other successful restaurants in Indiana.

Edison pulled up a seat next to me and asked me what I’d like to drink. Once I decided upon sake, he was quick to have his house sake brought out for me to try (12 oz. $10). With quite an extensive sake and wine list, not typically found at a Japanese restaurant, Edison was quite proud of his house offering. He also let me know that it was half price since I was there during their Happy Hour – which goes on every day from 5-7pm, including weekends! You can also get select appetizers for half price during their happy hour with prices ranging from $3 – $6.50)

The first dish that I tried was the Tuna Pizza. It was a toasted flatbread topped with guacamole, thinly sliced tuna, balsamic vinegar, spicy mayo and green micro sprouts. Delish! It was light and the flavor combinations worked really well together.

Next, I tried the “Chef Ruey Surprise”. On the menu, the Chef Ruey Surprise is $50 and is ideal as an appetizer for 2-3 people. I was given the single tasting version which runs between $15-20. It consisted of smoked white tuna, tamago with eel, fish wing (on this day I was served Salmon, on other days it might be Hamachi), tuna ball with snow crab and mint and sweet shrimp. I dove into the smoked white tuna first and boy was my mouth bursting with flavor! I love white tuna, but this was the first time I’ve ever had the smoked version. It was thinly sliced and topped with roasted garlic chips-outstanding!

The next thing I tried was the Omurice with eel and crab meat (also known as Tamagotchi). This “kitchen small plate” consisted of a thin layer of egg crepe wrapped with eel and crab meat. It was nice and light and had an airy texture while the eel sauce on top added another dimension, tying the dish together perfectly. ($12 ala carte).

The Salmon fish wing (a real treat and not a regular menu item) was one of my favorites of all the things I tasted on this evening.  When available, they are offered at $4 per wing. The salmon was incredibly fresh and cooked to perfection and was basted with a terrific sweet glaze.

I tried the tuna balls next. They were filled with snow crab and mint. While this dish may appear simple, it packed a nice flavorful punch. ($8 for 2 balls)

The Sweet Shrimp ($3.50 ala carte) was featured prominently in a champagne flute in the center of the Chef Ruey Surprise platter. The shrimp was indeed sweet and succulent. Edison informed me that if I was feeling adventurous, I should partake in the Japanese custom of eating the shrimp head, deep fried. Never to shy away from a good food adventure, I told him to “bring it on” and he did. I will spare you the details here, but let’s just say that I can now boast to have earned my honorary “Japanese” status.

It was about this time that Edison introduced me to one of his cold sakes called Tokubetsu Honjozo.($22) It was very smooth and enjoyable, and came packaged in a nice looking bottle.

The next plate arrived and on it was a colorful display of Shrimp Toasted with Tuna Jam (listed under Sushi Bar Teasers, four to an order for $14). Crispy shrimp on toasted Asian bread resembling a crostini and topped with a wonderful strawberry jam. It may sound a bit odd, but trust me, the combination works. I enjoyed these very much. To the right of the shrimp toasts was Rock Shrimp Tempura (listed under Kitchen Small Plates, $13). A deep water shrimp that tasted akin to lobster, the rock shrimp was the size and texture of “popcorn shrimp” but was coated with a citrusy/spicy sauce that delighted my taste buds.

As if I hadn’t sampled enough sake, Edison took the liberty of bringing out a sake flight of 3 different cold sakes for me to try. (Three, 1.5 ounce pours for $13)  The first one was Momokawa Pearl – coconut and tapioca flavor; next was Momokawa Silver –light and a little sweet; and the final one was Momokawa Diamond – dry and crispy, (all of which can be purchased individually at half price every day during happy hour 5 – 7pm).

To conclude this wonderful tasting, Chef Ruey fried up some Red Bean ice cream with a side of homemade whipped cream. The red bean had a nice taste and while not overly sweet, satisfied my sweet tooth.

Fusionarie Japanese Signature
500 Via De Palmas #79 
Open for lunch & dinner: Mon –  Thurs 11:30am – 2:30pm & 5 – 10pm
                                                   Fri 11:30am – 2:30pm & 5 – 11pm
                                                   Sat 12pm – 11pm
                                                   Closed Sunday

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