Fusion is typically the blending of two things, however at Fusion Inn Café, you get a global fusion of cuisine (Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, German, Mexican and American) meeting a global fusion of flavor in each appetizer, entrée, beverage and dessert.
Take the taco samosas for instance — a traditional Mexican taco shell mixed with Indian-inspired meat — it’s a great blend of two distinct flavors from two different countries, in one item. Let me tell you, it was quite delicious. The taco shell was fried to a perfect golden brown and stuffed with very tasty meat seasoned with aromatic herbs, lettuce, colored peppers and tomato. I added the tamarind chutney for a slightly sweet note and my companion, Sunil, used the green chutney for a slightly spicy note. Both were equally delicious and unique.
The nachos were another interesting menu item. There were four different styles and all were served atop a mound of freshly made tortilla chips and included tamarind and green chutney. The choices were: Channa masala (vegetarian or can be served as vegan, minus the cheese) — a North Indian delicacy made from garbanzo beans, cooked in a flavorful curry and melted cheese; Italian sausage and peppers — flavorful chunks of Italian sausage combined with diced tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, red onions, green bell peppers and melted cheese; the meaty delight — ground beef cooked in its own juice, with aromatic herbs topped with a generous helping of cilantro and melted cheese; and chicken tikka — boneless pieces of succulent chicken cooked in tandoori masala, diced into bite-sized pieces, topped with onion, pepper, cilantro and melted cheese.
We shared the channa masala, topping it off with a heaping scoop of tamarind chutney. There was such incredible flavor packed into every bite with punches of red, green and yellow, making it almost too pretty to eat.
Our friendly server was very attentive and informed us that they offer a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian options. She was knowledgeable in the food descriptions and health benefits like the golden milk, which is not only vegan and popular, but healthy, as well. It’s almond and coconut milk infused with turmeric and other spices and is served hot or cold. I asked for it hot and enjoyed it to the very last drop. Other beverages include soft drinks, jeera laban (cumin flavored yogurt drink), mango/strawberry lassi (cold, sweetened buttermilk blended in a fruit purée), coffee, milkshakes (mango, peanut butter, chocolate and salted caramel pretzel) and bottled and sparkling water.
The rest of our order consisted of vegetable puffs (a medley of vegetables tossed in fragrant onion-tomato gravy, stuffed in a puff pastry); chicken escalope (thin slices of marinated chicken breast rolled in seasoned flour, breaded and deep fried, served with salad and one side-roasted vegetable); FIC special salad (broccoli, apple, strawberry, pears, avocado, red onions, sunflower seed, craisins and feta cheese, placed on a bed of leafy greens with mango-lime vinaigrette) and mulligatawny soup (a fragrant curried vegan soup made of lentils, tomatoes, green apples, rice and fresh coconut milk, garnished with boiled rice).
The salad was so fresh, it’s as if they had their own garden outside. The dressing was just as fresh and had an incredible flavor — sweet with a hint of tartness. It had so many different raw fruits and vegetables.
The vegetable puffs were very good and about the size of a small slider. These are appetizers, not a main course, but are very filling. They are freshly made — light, fluffy and oven-baked to a golden brown for a bit of crispiness on the outside.
The mulligatawny soup was excellent. We chose medium spicy, which was good for both of us, but if you are sensitive to heat, you might want to order it mild or without spice, then add the green chutney, yourself. The fusion twist of this dish was serving it with garlic toast — Italy meets India.
As we were enjoying our lunch, our server stopped by the table with a plate of crispy onion fritters and said they were complimentary to all diners. It’s an interesting concept and similar to chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant.
This dish was very interesting with sliced onions dipped in spicy chickpea batter and deep fried to a golden brown. This dish is not for the faint of heart, as it’s absolutely delicious with a nice kick at the end.
I did save the best for last — chicken escalope (very similar to the German schnitzel). We chose the roasted vegetables as our side from a list of French fries, fried plantains, German potato salad, green salad, naan and jeera pulao (cumin flavored rice).
It was a flavorful, moist, tender chicken breast fried to a perfect golden brown, sitting atop the freshest and most delicious roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and carrots. Each bite consisted of chicken and vegetables for an absolutely incredible flavor. I was so happy that Sunil was full, as I really didn’t want to share any of it.
Other wonderful-sounding menu items are: Jewels in a bowl (bean salad), chicken Parmesan sandwich, moo moo beef burger, fish Florentine, muslangke (pasta dish with eggplant), vichyssoise (rich and creamy soup) or any one of the desserts (banana split, crème brulee, faloodah or semolina halwa).
Fusion Inn Café strives to maintain a globalized cuisine to cater to one and all and is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday, serving lunch and dinner with a children’s menu, as well. They offer catering and gift cards. This quaint and cozy restaurant is located at 1973 West Ave L, 661-726-0661.