* New location in PoMo"
"Authentic Japanese food". This almost seems like an oxymoron in the GVRD. Everyone, from Vietnamese to Chinese people operate "Japanese" restaurants. What's next? A Latin Japanese joint? There are a few known authentic Japanese restaurants such as Shiro, Ajisai, Toshi, Tokachi and Takarabune. However, not many people know about Fuji Sushi (unless you live in Burquitlam). Located in a large; yet rundown-looking plaza on Clarke Road, Fuji Sushi is so authentic that the daily specials are written only in Japanese. We had to do some shopping at Lougheed Mall, so we decided to give it try tonight.
The place really looks unassuming from the outside. In fact, it doesn't look like much at all. I got Viv to go in to get a table while I dealt with the kiddies. While attempting to cross the parking lot to the restaurant, some SUV pulls in from Clarke Road and guns it. Hello? WTH? Geez, I'd rather be in Richmond then, at the very least, they're driving way too slow to hurt anyone. When I got in, Viv said she hadn't got the attention of anyone as of yet. While we stood there, it probably took a good 5 minutes to be acknowledged. After that, it took awhile to figure out if they were actually going to give us a table or not. Viv finally asked how long it was going to be and to their credit, the lady gave us a table that she was about to put a "reserved" sign on.
The seating arrangements here are pretty tight, so you'll really get to know the people beside you, which we did. I think the couple beside us were amused at our juggling act of eating, me taking pictures and attending to the kids. I sometimes wonder why I don't go nuts. As for the food, we started with the Spinach Gomae which was excellent. For those used to the "dressing- drenched" version, this one might not be familiar. Only lightly dressed and topped with toasted sesame seeds, you can actually make out it is spinach. Next up were the Potato Croquettes. Served hot and really crunchy on the inside while still soft on the inside, these were a textural delight.
As if there was going to be any doubt, the Salmon Sashimi was both fresh and cut nicely. Fresh, sweet and exhibiting that "bounce" when chewed, it was good. As per usual, we got the Tempura Udon for the kiddies. Although the tempura itself wasn't bad, we thought they were a bit heavy on the batter. No matter, my son loves the batter (and only the batter), and he ate up the excess. As for the udon, it was good with al dente noodles and a flavourful, yet light broth. I didn't include the picture since it's not much to look at really. We ended up getting a Chopped Scallop Roll and a Unagi Roll. Both were pretty good with a good amount of filling and nicely prepared sushi rice. Again, not much too look at in the picture; but they were better than they appeared. I couldn't resist and ended up getting a Nigiri Combo (I seem to always order it). It included one piece
ika, salmon, ebi, tuna, tomago, tobiko and a tuna roll. Nicely presented and fresh, the were enjoyable to eat. Again, the sushi rice was the right consistency (soft, while a tad chewy) and neatly prepared.
Our meal was supposed to end there; but we noticed the table next to us had ordered the Spider Roll and it look darn good. Of course by the power of suggestion, we had to get it as well! We're such pushovers... So we got one and it was delicious. The roll was tight enough, so it didn't fall apart when eaten and the soft shell crab was crispy and meaty. In a twist of fate, the table next to us saw what we were eating and got a Tempura Udon as well. Luckily we were both winding down; otherwise I'm sure we'd keep ordering each others' dishes! And with that, I was full; but there was so much more to try. Next time I need to get them to decipher the daily specials for me. It's nice that an good authentic Japanese restaurant is close by. It definitely helps remind me of what real Japanese food is supposed to look and taste like.
- It's prepared carefully, correctly and tastes right
- It's small, gets busy; you need to wait
- Costs a bit more than impostors; but worth it