Prior to visiting 3 Fils, I had heard of its reputation for incredible food so I did go into the restaurant with high expectations, but I will be the first and certainly not the last to sat my expectations were not only met but were far exceeded. A few years ago I was living in Singapore, and 3 Fils perfectly embodied the flavors I experienced there – taking me back gustatorially to the multicultural city where Indian, Malay, Chinese and Japanese cuisine meet.
The restaurant is really small, with only around twenty five seats inside and a few tables outdoors overlooking the harbour. The chefs, including chef Akmal Anuar, are openly parked in one corner, preparing each dish ordered from scratch. We are seated adjacent to the chefs station, which is close enough to observe each dish being created. The staff are engaging, explaining the brief menu in detail and recommending the chefs signature dishes.
Scorched Yellowtail is served raw, carpaccio-style and is dressed with ginger and sumac. This simple yet complex dish is delicious and over too quickly.
The Hokkaido Scallops are fresh and beautifully seasoned. The scallops are well crafted with mandarin orange and buckwheat, creating a burst of melodic flavors – from the nuttiness of the buckwheat to the sweetness of the oranges – they’re a marvel of texture and taste.
Over to the classic Beef Carpaccio, and it looks absolutely stunning, the beef is succulent and simply dressed with Rocoto sour sauce and veal chorizo oil which satiate every corner of your palate.
The waiter suggests trying something off the specials menu, which changes daily. Featured today is Yokozuna, a crispy zucchini tempura base topped with fresh bluefin tuna and uni (or sea urchin). Moreishly good, this is what I would describe as an acquired taste. The zucchini tempura and fresh tuna are uncomplicated and delicious, the uni has a surprisingly delightful briny ocean taste and creamy texture, but is definitely not for everyone. Paired all together, it makes for an unpretentiously delicious dish.
The First Light Wagyu beef is one of the highlights of the meal. Charred and caramelized wagyu beef lies in a tasty tomato based sauce – which is mild enough to complement, yet not overpower the wagyu – and is garnished with sauteed green beans and chives. The dishes served at 3 Fils boast the common norm of a sharing concept, but this wagyu beef can effortlessly be devoured by one.
The Lamb Ribs are cooked to perfection, to the point where the lamb falls of the bone. These juicy and moist lamb ribs are served marinated in a delicious spicy sauce of thirty (very secretive) spices and garnished with young spring onion and sesame seeds.
One thing that stands out from the menu is the lack of vegetables or side dishes, or even as an inclusion with the protein but you almost don’t mind since the Indomie definitely makes up for it. This Indonesian noodle is served with grilled asparagus, flat green beans, beef bacon and spring onion, making it the perfect ending to the meal.
Even though we lack any space for dessert, we surely crave it simply from seeing it on the menu. We begin with the Toothfairy; a violet sour curd topped with saffron meringue, fresh blackberry and edible flowers. What you’d expect to be a very sweet and intense dessert is a light and airy lush of harmonic flavors. After a filling meal, this is the ideal dessert to end the night,
Lastly, we order the aptly named African Powerhouse – a slice of velvety Ghanaian dark chocolate cake with Madagascan vanilla ice cream. A dusting of dark chocolate makes this sweet ending even richer and more decadent.
The ingredients used by chef Akmal pair favourably, the flavours are complementary and the dishes are well executed. Furthermore, the staff are full of character, knowledge and efficiency. At around two hundred dirhams per person based on three courses, 3 Fils is affordable, providing more than value for money.