Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fusion II - Hamilton, NJ

What is there to say other than “WOW” about the new venture at Fusion II in Hamilton, NJ! We have visited Kenji’s Fusion on Route 33 in Hamilton on multiple occasions , and this is an incredible new venture from the same owner…and he did it up with style and class! Fusion II is located in the new shopping center in Hamilton off of Route 130, and absolutely no expense was spared to get this establishment up and running. Upon walking in, the first thing you will notice is the swanky, elevated sushi bar “in the round.” This is the focal point up the restaurant, surrounded by lighting, that goes from about 10 feet above the bar to the floor. The lighting also has a water feature installed, where the water drips down the length of the lights. This is a gorgeous feature, and took careful planning to make this look incredible. The restaurant itself has so many gorgeous features other than the sushi bar, from the painted black ceilings, to the stainless steel features on the walls, to the multi colored lighting, to the back stone wall with built in cubbies, etc, etc. Absolutely no expense was spared on making this place look amazing! I actually stopped in on Tuesday evening for takeout, but ended up going to their first location as we were craving some dishes off of their original menu. I got a grand tour of the place then, and had to bring Zelda back to see it for herself. The hibachi tables occupy the entire left side of the restaurant, with 4 in a row down the wall, that is adorned with blue lighting and a nice stainless steel ripple effect. In the back left hand corner of there restaurant, there is a private room with yet another hibachi table for private parties. This would be a great location to do a nice offline wine tasting! The hibachi tables are gorgeous, with nice lighting and huge stainless steel fume hoods. The counters on the tables are a nice, dark, laminated wood, and look fabulous. One thing I really like about the tables is the fact that they are not close together, and you do not feel crowded with another table right at your back. The tables and chairs were very comfortable, and there is no overcrowding to say the least. You can probably fit 10-12 comfortably at these tables. The menu is very diverse, entrees ranging from French, to Brazilian with some Asian Fusion flair! Tonight, we opted to sit at the hibachi tables, to give their hibachi a whirl. Next time we will shoot for eating off of their menu, to give their talented chef a shot at wowing us! One of the things we obviously love about Fusion II, as well as the original Kenji’s Fusion is the fact that it is BYOB. In these economic times, BYO is such a great option, especially when you have a 500 bottle cellar that is bulging at the seams! As we usually due when dining on Asian cuisine, I grabbed a pinot noir, a 2005 Alma Rosa La Encantada pinot noir to be exact. Regardless, the menu would be very accommodating to a wide array of wines, especially a nice Riesling or sauvignon blanc. The owner spent much time with us when we first sat down, telling us all about the construction process and materials he used for the restaurant. He also gave us a history of his new chef, as well as his sushi chef with a very impressive resume, and oodles of creativity. He actually hired his sushi chef from Nobu New York, and he is coming up with some new and exciting dishes that we have never seen before. Tonight, Zelda opted for a staple, and ordered the chicken teriyaki. I on the other hand went out of my norm and went for the scallops and shrimp. We both opted for the mushroom soup, which is included with your dinner, and it was not to disappoint. The broth for this soup is wonderful, and the thinly shaved shallot and green onion compliment the paper thin mushroom nicely. The pinot noir really complimented the soup nicely as well. Next out was the typical Asian salad, but the ginger dressing here could be the best that I have ever had. The salad was the perfect size, the lettuce was cold, and the dressing was very cold. The salad was vibrant and full of flavor, and what a treat it was! From here, the owner sent over one of his sushi chefs new creations. This was a nice yellow tail tuna, garnished with a citrus sauce, thin sliced jalapeño peppers, and cilantro. He brought it over and presented it to us, and told us exactly how to eat, with a small piece of cilantro with every bite. All I can say is awesome! The fish was very fresh and delicious, and the flavors exploded in your mouth. I wish I knew where he was purchasing his fish from, because this is some of the best we have ever had. During this same time the hibachi chef was doing his show, and you can tell that they are well practiced. Zelda has actually seen them out in the back of their restaurant practicing their moves before shift, and they try to wow you just like anywhere else you will go. First off the grill was my fried rice, which had nice flavors of garlic and spice. At the same time he was preparing the vegetables and a few pieces of shrimp for the table. And of course, in true hibachi style, then were flipping veggies to you to try to catch in your mouth, all to be washed down by some sake. Is that such a bad thing? =) The hibachi cooking continued, and off came my shrimp and scallops. They looked nice, and had a nice caramelization to them. Zelda’s chicken came off shortly after, and this too was cooked very nicely. Some will say that hibachi is hibachi no matter where you go. To a point, I will agree with this, but this really hit the spot. The shrimp was cooked perfectly, and there was no toughness to them whatsoever. The scallops too were grilled up very nicely, and they were very nice and tender, and clean. There was no grittiness to them at all, and they were sweet and succulent. Hibachi definitely did not disappoint, and we were stuffed to the gills with all of the food. Yet, we still were not done yet as the sushi chef came over yet once again, with a final “mini boat” of sushi for each of us. Yikes! Do we really have any room left? Absolutely not, but you know this will not go to waste! First up was a tuna with a tofu sauce. At first, I wasn’t sure that I would be crazy about this, but it turned out to be amazing. The tuna was fresh, and the tofu sauce was delicious! I am not a big fan of tofu, but whatever he used to make this sauce was fabulous, and I would definitely eat it again. Next up was salmon and tomato, with yet another amazing piece of fish, and beautiful tomato. These complimented each other very nicely, and it was a treat. Next up was an eel with avocado. I wish I knew for sure what was in here, but there was some kind of chopped nuts perhaps, and a nice smokiness and sweetness to it. I am not a big fan of eel, but this opened my eyes to just how tasty eel can be. Gorgeous! Next was tuna with an onion sauce, and yet another amazing cut of fish, and a sauce that could be eaten by itself. This was my second favorite. My favorite however had to be the wagyu beef. This was shaved thing and lightly grilled with some awesome flavors. The dab of wasabi on top made this delectable! Finally, the last was a palate cleanser with a piece of cucumber, and a dab of a soy mixture that was very refreshing, and left our palates clean and refreshed. This was a nice touch. Next course should have been dessert, but at this point you couldn’t have shoved anything else down our throats, so we will have to take them up on dessert the next time. The dessert menu does however feature some good looking dishes, from bananas foster to tempura ice cream, and I for one am looking forward to it. All in all, I have nothing to say other than incredible! As Zelda stated, we were treated like the Rockefeller’s tonight with amazing service, great food, and a whole lot of comps for us to try. The place is gorgeous, swanky, and just what this area needs. I think that once word gets out on the talented sushi chef and modern atmosphere, people will be coming from all around to experience the real deal for themselves. Kudos to Fusion II on taking an over the top risk with this place. It will definitely pay off in the long run! Cheers!
553 Route 130, Suite 320
Hamilton, NJ 08691
Phone: 609.581.7888
Fax: 609.785.0010
Mon-Sat 11:00am - 3:00pm
Mon-Thurs 4:30pm - 10:00pm
Fri & Sat 4:30pm - 10:30pm
Sunday Noon - 9:30pm

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