I realized starring at the oversized menu board hanging over the sanitized counter and at the uniformed men waiting patiently for my order that to review Fuji Japan and compare it to other Japanese restaurants in town would be like comparing Volkswagens to Audis. Sure they’re made basically by the same people, owned by the same company, share many common parts, but one is simply better than the other. A better comparison would be to decide between McDonalds and a bag of day-old popcorn.
Fast food sushi on its surface seems as bad an idea as Taylor Lautner doing Hamlet, but so many places appear to sell their virtues on speed instead of quality, and given how disappointed I’ve been over these sushi reviews, why not review the Japanese equivalent a Big Mac and fries. Fuji Japan is unique in town, odd given its commonality elsewhere on the continent. It looks like a fast food joint, acts like a fast food joint, and delivers like a fast food joint. And I do mean fast. I didn’t have to wait more than two minutes before my food arrived, presented in the requisite plastic container inviting a sealed clear plastic top. Everything here is scotch-guarded. Plastic posters hang taped off walls. Napkin dispensers advertise daily specials. I’m surprised there was no self-serve pop dispensers—wait...no there they were. I ordered the sushi combo as it was one of the most expensive dishes at a mind boggling $10.95. Twenty two pieces for $10.95, making Fuji Japan the cheapest sushi location by a colossal margin. I haven’t seen this good a deal since that Nigerian prince asked for my credit card.
But was it good? Meh.
I know readers are probably expecting some colorful metaphor or limerick, perhaps a verse in iambic pentameter, but this is fast food—it doesn’t really require or even deserve such creativity. They obviously have none of their own. For $13 bucks including coke, I got a half-dozen pieces each from a cucumber roll, California roll, and something painfully trying to imitate a dynamite roll. I stress painfully as the tempura was rubber. The rice bordered on mushy, but all this should’ve been expected given the two-minute delivery. Unless Speedy Gonzalez is back there, all of this was sitting on a shelf waiting for my order. This could be an incorrect assumption of the quality of Fuji Japan, as their fried food is made atop of grills right behind the counter. That could be good, I guess, though it wasn’t the purpose of this review. Like Shogun (and the only time I’ll compare these two places), sushi may not be Fuji Japan’s speciality. And here is where it gets depressing—and where this review makes its point—if I was stuck in downtown Prince George with an apparent disinterest in walking more than ten minutes and wanted sushi, THIS is where I’d go. I know, right. Between Fuji Japan and Wasabi, I’d choose Fuji...this is assuming it’s not a Friday where any self-respecting person would enjoy Shogun’s lunch menu. Fuji Japan isn’t particularly good, but it’s not disgusting or impossible to swallow. And one cannot deny how cheap it is. But so is McDonalds and I never go there, ultimately concluding this review (despite me probably talking for another 280 words).
Being the cheapest has never been a deciding factor for me, though it could very well be for you. Given the previous statement, I can’t see myself returning to Fuji Japan. It fills a niche I wasn’t aware needed to be filled, a niche I thought was conquered by the likes of the Superstore sushi bar. In effect, Fuji Japan feels more suited among thirty other food counters in a mall food floor, something you decide against Arby’s, Taco Time, and that odd Greek place serving Chinese food. This is a situation where I’d want to ask the other patrons their reason for choosing Fuji Japan. Is speed the only issue? I see people sitting down with friends and taking up their hour lunch conversing about daily events. Could they not do this thirty feet away at North 54 or a little further at Nancy O’s or White Goose? Even sitting here typing away, feeling my stomach grow increasingly upset at the lackluster meal, I wondered what devilry has been cast upon these masses to elect this over better food. I guess some people find the atmosphere inviting, something unassuming, welcoming, perhaps non-judgemental. To those people, Fuji Japan marks their monthly exotic indulgence. They pack themselves tightly in their Ford Explorer and opt for a change of pace from daily steak and potatoes drizzled in Jake’s hot sauce or weekly outings to the nearby Chinese place where they can stuff their faces in day old wontons for $8.95. Yes, you’re a wild-man and Fuji Japan is as exotic as a Dodge Ram is in Whitehorse.
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