My palate for Japanese food had developed about 7 years back during my stay in Delhi when I had stepped into the Tamura at the New Friend’s Colony Community Centre (of the Al Bake shwarma fame). I was so taken by the zen-like atmosphere at the place that it had soon become a regular haunt for me. At that time, I don’t remember seeing any Indian faces at Tamura; back then the clientele used to comprise almost exclusively of homesick Japanese expats. Later of course, the cuisine caught up with delhiites, Tamura moved to Green Park, and Sushiya started home delivering sushi from Noida, and then from Saket. My previous reviews have revealed how Sushiya provided me comfort in times I needed the most.
Given my love for Jap food, I, for one, was super elated when bro told me about a new Japanese restaurant that had opened up in the neighborhood. ‘Aioi’ is the name he had told me. I looked up the net to find it was named after a Japanese city of the same name, and also that it had been further changed to Fuji. Although, what’s in a name really?
Fuji’s decor commensurates with the part of the world it represents – peaceful and picture-perfect. Their menu is fairly elaborate, although I would have preferred more options on the original sushi flavours than their fusion counterparts. For example, I was looking for the norimaki with picked cucumber and shiitake mushrooms, but the only mushroom maki roll they had was with mayo. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable just like the rest of the fare. Our order was fairly heavy on appetisers – including the sushi platter that came with an assortment of nigiri sushi comprising salmon, tuna, prawn, octopus, scallop etc. Luckily they had not attempted to please the Indian palate in this regard by trying to ‘par-cook’ the fish for the sushi – huge relief. It was as fresh as refreshing as nigiri should be, the proportion of rice to meat being just right. (There are places that try to stuff you with more rice than required).
Also ordered was the non-veg tempura platter – with batter fried pork, chicken, fish, prawn and surprise of all surprises, chicken liver/gizzards! All of us loved it the most, we have often relished garlic-fried chicken offal at home but had never imagined batter frying it could taste so good. Cliched as it may be, crunchy outside and creamy inside it was. The platter in itself is quite filling since the portions on each satay stick are huge.
We were so full with the appetizers that we only had enough space left for a tiny morsel as token main course. We decided on one of the sticky rice options with – no marks for guessing – pork of course. (We’re becoming predictable) The sticky rice, as can be seen in the picture, was stir-fried with pork bits, bell peppers and other vegetables, was lightly seasoned and quite filling as glutinous rice usually is, though its looks are often deceiving.
Despite the lack of tummy space, I had my eyes on a certain dessert and made a greedy proposition to share a Wasabi icecream. Clearly it wouldn’t be out of a box, and I love love love homemade icecreams. I must say, and this was unanimous, that the wasabi icecream was the best thing we had that day. It was dense, creamy, flavourful with more than a hint of wasabi – never imagined the pungency could be so adeptly masked by the milky sweetness; the boys who were initially not to keen on dessert, were finally the ones to lick it clean.
My husband and I hadn’t gone out in a long long time, and we really loved this silent distraction. Except it wasn’t silent because he and bro together make ‘the boys’ and notorious that they can be, one can never hope of silence. I, in turn, have vowed to go back with my girl friends, especially for the icecream. Trust me, it ‘is’ that good.
Fuji is located on Sarat Bose Road, Kolkata (right overhead the Fire n Ice restaurant)