THE EATBEAT: Sleek, large new Fuji offers Japanese cuisine with flairThe food at Fuji was excellent — the steak, shrimp, rice, vegetables so crisp and tasty. We were pleasantly filled and generally pleased.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Nick Zak (NZ) said he had a Philadelphia roll for lunch at the relatively new Fuji Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse on South Washington Street. His friend, Wayne Bakke (WB), had just finished a Feija lunch box.
“My gosh,” he said. “It was plenty.”
Both NZ and WB paid $8.95 for lunch. They like checking out restaurants around town. Next time, they said, they would bring their wives.
After talking with NZ and WB as they were leaving the restaurant, which opened Feb. 1, I sauntered inside the sleek and large new facility.
I figured I was in luck when I ran across a 10-year-old named Ben Christoferson (BC), a fourth-grader at Century Elementary School.
He watches food shows on TV and is well-acquainted with the likes of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. BC was having a late lunch afternoon — free of school — with his mother, Kim Cowden (KC).
We proceeded to explore the restaurant together. For me, it was a mystery, but BC was quick to explain the offerings at the sushi bar, where chefs in white uniform artfully prepare specialties — many of which feature raw fish. (Diners also can choose seating at hibachi tables, in booths or at a long, attractive bar.)
Here’s where a child’s knowledge came in handy. He told me they call the drinks something else, but they are really made from Coca-Cola. After ordering sweetened iced Nestea, I thought green tea would have been a better fit with my meal.
My sushi lunch platter was a beautiful creation of a tuna roll and California roll, which were artistically arranged with spikes of crisp cucumber and leaves of thinly sliced cucumber. And we tasted a marvelous king crab crunch roll. With it, I took a dab of wasabi, and TC giggled as he reminded me it was hot-hot. The pickled ginger was a great palate cleanser.
Sushi, according to my food writers’ guide, is various combinations of seasoned rice, vegetables, raw fish (sashimi), wasabi and seaweed (nori).
BC was saving himself for one of the four hibachi tables, where patrons — young and old — can sit and watch Japanese chefs prepare their food. He loves to order steak and shrimp.
A chef named Johnny put on a wonderful show for us. He appeared in a red hat and prepared food with a flair. At one point, he cracked an egg and managed to gather the yoke with a spatula and toss it in the air. He returned it to the table intact. He was — in a word — fantastic.
The food was excellent — the steak, shrimp, rice, vegetables so crisp and tasty. We were pleasantly filled and generally pleased.
This style of restaurant is rare in our area. For those familiar with Japanese restaurants, it is a delight. For others, it is an experience.
The menus at Fuji are long and detailed. It seems it would take several visits to figure out what you want.
Those who wish to stay away from raw fish will find plenty of choices. And the menu is full of pictures of the various dishes to help diners make decisions.
Fuji is spacious with a clean, uncluttered design. Tiny hanging lamps add to the ambience. The restaurant is one of three under the same management in North Dakota. Others are in Fargo and Bismarck.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.