Restaurant Fusion at Maitland Leagues Club

EAST MEETS WEST: Fusion restaurant's Shania Kim, Ethan Sie and chef David Yuen. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
EAST MEETS WEST: Fusion restaurant's Shania Kim, Ethan Sie and chef David Yuen. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

The name is Fusion and it's a new addition to the central Maitland dining scene.

To be fair the name of Maitland Leagues Club's new restaurant is a touch misleading.  The food isn't fusion at all - it's western food and eastern food, happily sitting side by side on the menu. No fusion in sight, just east and west.

"We even have two chefs ... one that does the western food and the other who does the eastern food," says Ethan, who is in charge of front of house.

Ethan says he's "Aussie", but his heritage is Hong Kong. He's just as comfortable sitting down to a stir fry as he is a schnitzel and chips, and he's proud of what they're putting out.

"Fresh food, and good value for money. That's what we're after," he says. "People around here don't want to pay a fortune for a feed, and fair enough. We believe we can give them good food that doesn't break the bank."

The lunch menu, for example, has a number of $10 specials. It's super value when you consider you not only get your main dish, but also your choice of soup - when I visited it was chicken and sweet corn, or pumpkin - and a bread roll.

There might be better value around town, but you'd have to go searching for it.

So, what are the main sellers - east or west?

"The majority of the menu is western, so we probably sell more of that," Ethan explains. "So dishes like chicken schnitzel, fish and chips, rack of lamb, scotch fillet, slow cooked lamb shanks, roasted duck ... they're popular, as you'd expect. But we also do a few pasta dishes that also have a following."

No surprise there. How does pasta with Atlantic salmon sound? Or how about the generic seafood pasta that includes ... wait for it ... scallop, fish, squid and mussels.

And then there's the concise Asian section that includes stir fry dishes cooked with a number of sauces, as well as laksa and Nasi Goreng.

I asked Ethan how business has been in the first few weeks since they opened in late February.

"Steady at this stage," he says. "The word hasn't really got out yet. The good thing is that anecdotally we're getting good reports from diners and we have a lot of return customers. So things are promising.

"We are also planning a steak night and maybe a schnitzel night each week."

Leagues Club general manager John Fahey is even more positive in his outlook.

"As a club we're excited to have the Fusion guys with us," he says.

"They’ve been fantastic to deal with and are really focussed on quality, value and service.

“That fits perfectly with what the club is after."