A Mountain of Flavor
Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse offers taste of teppanyaki
Chalk one up for Asian cuisine on the Chippewa Valley’s smorgasbord of dining options. Allow me to introduce Fuji Sushi and Steakhouse, a brand-new Japanese restaurant that has opened on the south side of Eau Claire. But above and beyond its name, Fuji isn’t just a sushi joint. Between the two spacious dining rooms and sushi bar, Fuji boasts three different ways to dine and experience their fare.
First stop: the sushi bar. If raw is what you’re after, Fuji serves up 20 options for sushi or sashimi (thin raw seafood served with a sauce) and more than 40 different rolls and special rolls, including a concoction dedicated to the fine city of Eau Claire. The special Eau Claire Roll features shrimp tempura, kani (crab), and cucumber topped with tuna, mango, avocado, jalapeno, and tabiko (roe of flying fish). These were divine: a delicate blend of sweet and spicy with a delicious and perfectly fried tempura topping. Gaze through the glass and watch as the sushi chef’s expertly trained hands flash through the assortment of ingredients and deliver you a plateful of color and beautiful design.
On my trip through the sushi menu, I was also prepared a plate of Dragon Rolls and a special plate the chef just decided to whip up for us that my dining companions titled “the Bird Rolls.” Prepared with eel, cucumber, and avocado, Dragon Rolls are one of the more popular options. Not being an avid sushi enthusiast, I was hesitant to try this dish, but was pleasantly surprised when the wonderful flavors revealed no overpowering fishy flavor or peculiarly chewy consistency. Fuji uses only the finest and freshest ingredients which, admittedly, are hard to find in this land-locked state. The “Bird” rolls were equally good, simply prepared with spicy yellowtail and avocado, topped again with that perfect shrimp tempura.
If you want a more private setting, they offer a more conventional dining area where patrons can enjoy dinner enclosed by comfortable booth seating. Here, Fuji has an impressive assortment of kitchen-prepared dishes ranging from hot or raw appetizers, sushi combination plates, and a number of hot entrees.
Fuji’s main attraction, though, lies behind an ornately decorated glass dividing wall. This is where they feature 12 hibachi grills that can seat 11 people each. There is also a separate party room complete with two grills that can seat an impressive 45 hungry diners. Even if you’ve already experienced hibachi-style dining, I suggest you try it again: you will never have the same experience twice. Each chef displays his or her own unique personality and humor while serving up delicious Japanese cuisine.
Sitting at the grill you can choose from more than 20 entrees and combos along with a kids menu and tasty dessert listing. I can tell you firsthand that the steak was perfect, the chicken was tender and delicious, the shrimp was a hit, and the scallops (my favorite) were out-of-this-world good. Our chef was an entertaining culinary expert and helped me discover a knack for catching food in my mouth.
A charming atmosphere, gracious hosts, and mouth-watering food make for a casual-yet-classy night out. If you don’t dig raw, they have fully cooked entrees. If you prefer veggies to meat, numerous vegetarian options await you. Fuji has something for everyone and then some: a dining experience you won’t soon forget.
Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse • 4864 Keystone Crossing, EC • 832-3388
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