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“Prince Gastronome - Second Visit”
Review of Fuji Japan

Fuji Japan
Ranked #124 of 236 Restaurants in Prince George
Cuisines: Japanese
Restaurant details
Reviewed 26 May 2014

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.

That’s it.

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.

Food: 2/5
Service: 2/5
Presentation: 2/5
Value: 5/5
Recommendation: 2.5/5

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PrinceGastronome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 12 of 12 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2014

We found this place after searching all over Prince George for a sushi place open on a Sunday night at 8pm. We weren't expecting anything special, but it was a pleasant surprise. The sushi was fresh made and really good :)

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4  Thank CoffeeConisier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2013

This is a new restaurant that my friend and I decided to give it a try. I ordered a bento box and my friend ordered the sushi combo with Japanese tea. I added enoki mushroom that they offered to my beef teriyaki and really enjoyed it. Overall, we both enjoyed the food and will comeback again sometime for lunch.

    • Atmosphere
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3  Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2012

I knew eventually more restaurants would appear after I finished the first stage of my reviews. What I didn’t expect would be that first two new arrivals would both be Sushi restaurants. Wait, that was meant to be sarcastic. Because we needed another sushi restaurant in town given the loss of Sakura and Suzuran. Maybe my depression for good sushi will be tempered by the rotation of failed businesses in this lacklustre economy, a gloomy realization. Sushi restaurants already outnumber McDonalds and Wendy's combined; it's getting so bad that eventually you'll be able to travel from corner to corner of this city without every losing sight of one.

It took me a minute and a half to write that first paragraph. I’ve decided that the length of time allotted to myself to write a restaurant review should be limited to the amount of time I spend in the actual restaurant, ignoring whether or not I write the review inside the location or not. In the case of Fuji Japan, I have about seven minutes. Damn, it took me another minute to type that explanation and another few seconds typing this complaint about spending too much time writing—Damn it!

I walked out of the HSBC building looking like a make-up test-shot from Planet of the Apes (long story) and strolled across the street to the recently opened new Fuji Japan, which I swore at the time must be a chain. Yet a thorough twenty-second Google search uncovered nothing. I discovered Fuji Japan only a day earlier after exiting the nearby North 54. Around the corner was Margo’s Cafe. Three more diverse restaurants within a fifteen second walk you will never find. Fuji tries desperately to resemble a fast food chain, so much so that I actually confused it with the Edo chain of restaurants which dominate nearly every airport I have ever been to.

Upon entering, and working around the entrance chicane, I discovered an empty restaurant in the rhythms of its morning start-up sequence. The nearly unbearable stench of bubbling canola oil wafted from behind the counter. Fuji Japan isn’t exclusively sushi, an assumption you can easily make considering the word Sushi isn’t in the restaurant name. That’s a sour point I’ll get into another time. A display area usually reserved for slices of key lime pie and Oreo cheesecake is occupied by a single platter of forlorn sushi. By lunchtime, I assumed it would be full of various cuts of fish and that go perfectly well with sitting in a chilled display shelf for three hours. The menu, conveniently backlit across the wall, oversized for those like myself that forgot their glasses, plaster persuasive pictures of various Japanese and Chinese dishes, none of which I believe Fuji Japan actually offers. What I should expect would be the equivalent of a patient with Lou Gehrig's disease attempting to replicate a Rembrandt.

While some offerings are sushi, many are bento boxes, a common staple in Japanese lunches. Hankering for sushi, I decided on one of their largest plates and was instantly shepherded to that lonesome clear plastic covered plate made with the same level of detail of those assorted vegetable platters you buy for six bucks from Superstore. This one was twelve. At least Fuji Japan has the “fast” half of “fast food” down. A minute after entering and I was paying for my meal in hand. Ten seconds later I was peeling the plastic cover off my meal in preparation for the upcoming, I guess you could call it enjoyment? It’s not a good sign when you have to peel anything off your plate prior to eating it. I only expect that in a moment of desperation forcing me to spend seven dollars on a saran-wrapped-flavoured chicken Caesar wrap from a Petro-Canada refrigerator. It’s a larger plate in defense, but five minutes after sitting down, I was done. I had no other distractions. There were no other customers and the TVs weren’t turned on until after my last swallow. The nigiri were cut to proper size and the California roll was average, so it’s depressing to say Fuji Japan kept its quality with its like-themed competition about town.

I don’t think I’m being subtle in my disappointment with Fuji Japan but I have reserved some praise, specifically given competition. I'd go to here over driving/walking three blocks to Wasabi Sushi which I reviewed quite some time ago. And if your life is bound by a high caloric per minute ratio, I would still chose Fuji over the dreary and painful Margo’s Cafe, but all these places are peons against the regality of North 54. I mean given the price of that sushi platter, it’s only a few dollars more for a high quality made to order meal from one of the best restaurants in town.

The average quality of Sushi in Prince George is dropping. Fast. With the loss of Suzuran and Sakura, I may have to give up my desire for weekly injections of jaw fish. Thankfully this blog has allotted me various non-Japanese alternatives.

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2.5/5
Presentation: 2/5
Value: 2.5/5
Recommendation: 2.5/5

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PrinceGastronome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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