Mt. Pleasant’s Fuji a surprisingly good deal for flavorful Japanese food
October 10, 2019
Fuji is a small sushi restaurant located at 644 Long Point Road that features hibachi, sushi and other traditional dishes. I took my parents and sister to Fuji for dinner, and overall it was an average experience.
The decor was that of a typical sushi restaurant, Japanese themed paintings on the wall, various lantern shaped lights and a confusing and slightly fading mural of bamboo on the back wall.
My family and I went to Fuji during happy hour, which actually ended up being a much better deal than expected. The gyoza, a Japanese style dumpling, is typically priced at $8 on a normal day, but during happy hour it’s $5, which makes it seem much more appealing. While the happy hour menu was decently priced, we almost missed the cutoff as we waited over 30 minutes for a waiter to see we had been seated. Granted, the restaurant was moderately busy, and seemingly understaffed, but the confusing layout of the restaurant definitely made it easy for waiters miss or forget their seated patrons.
Once our waiter finally found our table, we quickly put in our drink and food orders and waited for our appetizers. We decided to start with two orders of the gyoza, which came out surprisingly quickly. The gyoza were well cooked and full of aromatics such as garlic and ginger, but the sauce served with them was very smokey and overpowered the delicate flavors of the dumpling.
My sister and I polished them off quickly, but the five dumplings we were served seemed like a small portion compared to their normal price of $8
Our main courses consisted of sushi for my sister, mother and me, and a hibachi meal for my father. The normal sushi rolls averaged out at around $8 each, while the more intricate specialty rolls ran for about $14. I ordered a shrimp tempura roll and a spicy tuna roll, while my sister got an avocado roll and my mother ordered a spicy tuna roll as well. The shrimp tempura roll was fantastic, the sweet shrimp was well complemented by the eel and soy sauce and crunchy tempura coating. A spicy mayo sauce added a kick to the roll, which gave it another level of flavor.
The spicy tuna rolls were also fresh, but the level of spice was inconsistent. I had a rather mild roll, while my mother was gulping water after every bite. Despite this, the flavor was very delicate and served as almost a palette cleanser, with a bit of heat at the end.
My father’s steak hibachi meal came out a couple minutes after the sushi and featured a surprisingly small portion of food considering the price tag. The hibachi ran for an average of $25-32, and came with soup, fried rice and the meat with vegetables. The miso soup was simple and delicious, and the tofu and mushrooms added a uniqueness to the soup. The fried rice was alright, but it consisted of only rice and egg and desperately needed a new level of flavor.
The main dish of meat and vegetables was spectacular. The steak was well cooked and all the vegetables were a nice al dente with soft exterior and a little bite at the end. The medley of zucchini, carrot, mushroom and onion was stir fried in a sweet soy sauce, which was both filling and delicious.
Despite its cliche decor and labyrinth inspired layout, Fuji served surprisingly great food and hosted a warm and welcoming atmosphere. I’m sure that when I have a little extra cash in my wallet I’ll return for another sushi splurge.