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Restaurant review: Fuji Japanese in Victoria Park

Written by 15th January, 2009

Sitting at the tip of Victoria Park’s food strip (nearer to the city than Carousel)… this little japanese restaurant has stolen the hearts of all my family members - including those who have visited from Singapore.

When you enter the front door, you will be greeted by the friendly Japanese waitresses, who will sit you accordingly. The bulk of the area is filled with Japanese-style seating, where it is preferred for patrons to take off their shoes and enter the seating area. Sadly, I don’t really know what this type of seating is called, but it is essentially wood with little cushions for you to sit on.

Over on the other side, closer to the sushi station, there will be Western Style seating (i.e. actual tables and chairs). If you feel uncomfortable taking your shoes off, then do request for the western style seating when you make your reservations.

Speaking of the sushi station/bar. You can also request a seat at the sushi station/bar, where you can witness the true works of a sushi chef showing off his great culinary and ‘design’ skills in making your fresh sushi!

The restaurant is owned by a lovely japanese couple. The chef you see at the sushi station is actually the owner of the restaurant. The wife handles the customers and bills. A perfect combination I reckon, with the great chef in the husband and the sweet nature of the wife.

The other unique feature about this restaurant is how their menus are actually split into two halves - one in English and the other half in Japanese. This will be a real plus for those of us who might have Japanese-speaking friends/colleagues who are new here in Perth and are not too strong in the English language.

Having been here numerous times, we knew exactly what we were going to order (well, at least mom and myself did!)… and with other family and family friends joining, we ended up with these orders:

Ika Teriyaki (or Teriyaki Grilled Squid)
Agedashi Tofu
Chirashi Sushi
Sakana Teriyaki (or Teriyaki Fish) with Rice
Green Tea Anmitsu

For seven people, and the above dishes, I know it doesn’t really make sense since the first two are actually entree dishes. Matter of fact is that the two main dishes (i.e. Chirashi Sushi and Sakana Teriyaki) are actually the recommendations my family had for our guests. *blush*

I had actually forgotten to take the pictures of the entrees when they had come out from the kitchen - which explains the bad shots!! My deepest apologies for this, it is pure greed and hunger that will have to take the blame, as I push responsibilities. =P

In any case, the squid was grilled very nicely, with the meat still tender. With a great teriyaki dressing, and some lovely greens to color the dish a little bit, this dish was well-received by everyone. The lemon should be squeezed so that the teriyaki sauce doesn’t sit too heavy on the tummy before the yummy mains. They serve this with the ever famous and tasty japanese mayo that everyone loves!!

The agedashi tofu dish has a total of 4 pieces of tofu (alright, I know you must be really thinking I’m such a pig). I’ve always loved this dish since I was a kid, and thus can’t really tell the difference between a good or excellent agedashi tofu. But! My brother-in-law had visited us two years ago, and having lived in Japan for seven years, he knew what to expect in the area of authenticity. And to our delight - this was on his list! In case you’re wondering, here’s a little explanation on what it is:

Agedashi tofu (or agedashi dofu, Agedashi dofu, often shortened to age tofu or age dofu) is a Japanese way to serve hot tofu. Silken (kinugoshi) firm tofu, cut into cubes, is lightly dusted with potato starch or cornstarch and then deep fried until golden brown. It’s then served in a hot tentsuyu broth made of dashi, mirin, and sho-yu (Japanese soy sauce), and topped with finely chopped negi (a type of spring onion) or grated daikon.

Agedashi tofu is an old and well-known dish. It was included in a 1782 Japanese all-tofu cookbook entitled Tofu Hyakuchin (literally “One hundred Tofu”), along with other tofu dishes such as chilled tofu (hiyayakko) and simmered tofu (yudofu).

The Sakana Teriyaki was a fave because of its rather generous serve of fish and gravy. Served with some greens, this dish is good for those who might be a tad on the health-conscious side. :) I have tried a mouthful, and only found it on the average side of things. If I had a choice, I would really be calling the beef teriyaki, but that’s just carnivorous me talking. :)

Chirashi sushi is best explained using good ol’ Wikipedia!

Chirashizushi. scattered sushi). A bowl of sushi rice with other ingredients mixed in (also refers to barazushi). It is commonly eaten in Japan because it is filling, fast and easy to make. Chirashizushi most often varies regionally because it is eaten annually as a part of the Doll Festival, celebrated only during March in Japan. Chirashizushi is sometimes interesting because the ingredients are often chef’s choice.

Edomae chirashizushi (Edo-style scattered sushi) is an uncooked ingredient that is arranged artfully on top of the sushi rice in a bowl.
Gomokuzushi (Kansai-style sushi). Cooked or uncooked ingredients mixed in the body of rice in a bowl.

In the case of Fuji, this Chirashi sushi would really belong to the Kansai-style sushi since there’s eggs and prawn - both of which are cooked ingredients. This is best suited for those who can handle some rawness in the gut. If you are a sashimi (or raw fish) lover, then this is the way to go! Usually the fish served are:

Salmon (who doesn’t love some good raw salmon! Yummo!)
Tuna (my personal favourite)
Yellow Tail (which is not too yellow)
Scallops (seasonal)
Some other fish whose name I can’t seem to get my hands on! *oops*

Finally, dessert! Having tried this dessert before when I went to visit sis in Japan, I was delighted to know that there was such a dessert right here in Perth. Here’s some background information:

Anmitsu is a Japanese dessert that has been popular for many decades. It is made of small cubes of agar jelly, a white translucent jelly made from red algae or seaweed. The agar is dissolved with water (or fruit juice such as apple juice) to make the jelly. It is served in a bowl with sweet azuki bean paste or anko (the an part of anmitsu), boiled peas, often gyuhi and a variety of fruits such as peach slices, mikan, pieces of pineapples, and cherries. The anmitsu usually comes with a small pot of sweet black syrup, or mitsu (the mitsu part of anmitsu) which one pours onto the jelly before eating. Anmitsu is usually eaten with a spoon and fork.

A few variations on this dessert do exist. Mitsumame is anmitsu without bean paste, the mame meaning the peas that are served with the syrup and anko instead. Cream anmitsu is anmitsu with ice cream on top. Shiratama dango are also commonly used as toppings.

This anmitsu, unfortunately doesn’t contain that white translucent jelly - but it’d be so lovely if it did because it is fa-bu-lous!! The fruits served in Fuji are all seasonal, with fruits for our meal this time being strawberries, watermelon and some banana.

The usual ice cream served is vanilla-flavoured, but we asked for green tea ice cream instead because we think it gives the anmitsu a more unique flavour! The mitsu is indeed present in this dish, and it’s lovely! A must-order if you are a dessert fan, a double-must-order if you love green tea ice cream!

The thing to note about this restaurant, with all its goodness, is that the owners have decided to work a little lesser. Thus, the owner only works on Tuesdays and Saturdays (doing the sushi), and it seems the other chef doesn’t serve as much as the owner :( So if you are interested in having some Chirashi Sushi, head down on Tuesdays/Saturdays.

With this place fully booked most of the time, it’s good to make a reservation before heading there - and for the weekends, make sure the reservation is done a day or two before.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T

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