Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fuji Sushi & Steakhouse

Remember the Old Country Buffet on Aurora, just north of 165th? Think about that place for a moment, and then try to imagine a restaurant that is its exact, diametric opposite. Now drive over there and see the Fuji Steakhouse, which replaced the Old Country Buffet, and be amazed.

Some of us visited the Fuji last night; we were dubious but we know that often hidden gems are missed by those who don't take risks. Well, we also know that when it comes to restaurants, sometimes serious food poisoning comes to those who do take risks. But fortunately, this was not one of those occasions.

The restaurant was nearly empty when we arrived, a little past 7:30 on a Friday evening. A friendly owner/manager type greeted us at the door and asked if we'd like to try the hibachi, indicating a large room with four big hibachi grills surrounded by seating. The decor was very nice—a monumental improvement over the high-school cafeteria feeling of the previous resident.

We were seated at one of the hibachi stations, and a server took our drink and appetizer orders—we had decided on sushi rolls and sashimi to start—and we each ordered a different hibachi combo as our main event.

We all agreed that our appetizers were good quality sushi; my salmon sashimi was fresh and tasty, and the others' rolls were equally good. I enjoyed a house cabernet, and my cohorts had the Kirin beer. The wine selection was so-so, with only three reds by the glass, but the beer list was more varied, if leaned mainly towards Asian brews.

After our small soups, salads and appetizers were done, the main event began. A young man rolled out a cart full of various containers and positioned himself in the middle of the round grill area. By this time we had another couple seated at our station, and the five of us were ready for a show. A show is exactly what we got!

The chef (if that's the right name for this guy's performance art/cooking gig) started with a display of knife and spatula flipping, playing with utensils and bottles and eggs, and with us. I don't want to detail the whole cooking extravaganza, because there are plenty of fun surprises that I don't want to give away, but it was a showy, sometimes silly, but overall very entertaining affair. If you've ever been to Benihana, you'll have some idea of what I mean.

And the best part wasn't the spectacle, it was that the food was actually very good. I had the lobster and chicken, which was surprisingly fairly priced; others had shrimp, salmon, and filet mignon in their combos. All agreed that it was tasty and enjoyable.

Fuji's prices are a little higher than other venues in the area, but of course you pay a bit more for what's essentially a performance along with your food. It was a great evening out for all of us, and I'm sure we'll go there again.

If you've enjoyed (or hated) meals here or anywhere else around Shoreline, let us know in the comments below!


  1. Try to visit Rumble Fish Sushi Cafe in 20109 Aurora for a great sushi and japanese rolls experience. Try to check out their website

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