While Sushi is quite popular, most Japanese food remains unexplored. The Traditional Japanese food is ‘Washoku’. It is salty, sweet, sour, slightly bitter, full of Umami flavours. A standard Japanese meal nearly always consists of a bowl of cooked white Japanese rice (Gohan) as Shushoku with accompanying Tsukemono (pickles), a bowl of Soup and a variety of dishes known as Okazu – fish, meat, vegetable, etc.
Fuji Japanese Restaurant at Nandanam, carries a logo of Mount Fuji (one of the Japan’s Three Holy Mountains). At the restaurant, the seating area is divided into two – the traditional Tatami Room and the western tables and chairs. Shoes and slippers have to removed if you are using the Tatami Room. It is a very pleasant experience to dine at Fuji.
We were at Fuji, for lunch, So we were given their Set Lunch Menu Card. Their Set Menu, as far as I’ve understood is designed as per a simple Japanese style of serving meal called Ichijū-Issai. This means soup, rice and pickles, and one accompanying dish. You are allowed to order from the A la carte too, if you want.
Japanese Tea was served in a bowl, as soon as I got seated and it was refilled from time to time, till I asked them to stop it.
Ten Don: Assorted Tempura On Bed Of Rice With Soya Base Sauce
This was my choice of Lunch Set, listed under Donburi* – Served very neatly, in a traditional way. Taste wise, no qualms, as my Tempura was quite well done. I had assorted Tempura – A mix of Vegetables and Seafood. The quality of ingredients used is top-notch. Japanese food, as such is an acquired taste, for us Indians. Quite happy with my choice. The Miso Soup was a clear winner and the pickle was good too.
Yakisakana Set: Grilled Fish
This was my friend’s choice. I didn’t get to taste it. But Yakisakana, is nothing but Grilled Fish. The Choice of fish that was served here was Salmon. This was listed under Lunch Set; it was bit more elaborate than my Donburi Set.
Shiromi Sakana Nanban – Zuke: Deep Fried Fish Marinated In Japanese Vinegar
Shiromi – White fleshed fish / Sakana – an accompaniment or snack usually along with alcohol / Nanban – Zuke – Fried fish or meat marinated in a mixture of dashi*, soy sauce and vinegar with onions and hot peppers.
As I’ve already mentioned, my nose is super sensitive. And in the case of Shiromi Sakana Nanban-Zuke, if you can brave that you’ll enjoy some amazing Japanese accompaniment. The kick from the Vinegar was too good. It’s a quite unique taste.
Nigiri is a type of Sushi made of thin slices of Raw Fish over pressed vinegared sushi rice. I didn’t taste this one, as I share a love-hate relationship with Sushi. And, since there were only two pieces of Nigiri on each plate, left it for my friend to taste it. Though, I can vouch that the ingredients used in the Sushi were of top quality. Usual suspects, Wasabi and Pickled Ginger (Gari) were the accompaniment.
The ambience is very serene. The staffs give you your privacy, but seem to appear out of nowhere the minute, you need something. Indeed, very courteous and smiling. They also explain things in detail, in case you come up with doubts. If you are in mood for Japanese, willing to shell a bit more to get the authentic taste, then Fuji it is.
- Shushoku – Staple / Staple Food
- Tsukemono – Japanese Preserved Vegetables
- Soup – Usually a Miso Soup
- Okazu – Side dish to accompany rice
- Donburi – a one-bowl meal of rice topped with any meat or vegetable dish
- Dashi – Japanese Stock