Fuji Sushi

As a Coquitlam resident who treks out to Vancouver at least five days a week for school, I was quite happy when Translink announced its plans for the Evergreen Line. However, due to the construction, many businesses have had to relocate, including Fuji Sushi, a well-known Japanese-operated sushi restaurant in Coquitlam. Fuji Sushi was originally located on Clarke Road, but exists in its present incarnation in Port Moody. My family decided to visit one weekend night, as we’re always on the search for great restaurants in the Tri-Cities area.

The restaurant is spacious, bright, and family-friendly, which is a plus in my book. It does have its own parking lot for customers, but the parking lot was frustratingly narrow. We drive a compact car and we had to be incredibly cautious to maneuver out of there without damaging someone else’s vehicle. I would recommend you find another place to park, which would save you a lot of hassle.

DSC_0002We perused the menu, and our order was promptly taken by one of the waitresses. By virtue of our having ordered some dinner boxes, we received some Miso SoupI liked how the miso soup wasn’t too salty, but it actually bordered on the bland side. It was quite standard, as far as miso soup goes, with some diced green onion and little pieces of tofu. None of us had any real complaints about this, but then again, it’s just miso soup, right?

DSC_0001Next, we were served some Salad, also part of the dinner boxes. The salad was comprised of lettuce, julienned carrots, slices of tomato, and the typical citrus-y dressing found at most Japanese restaurants. I didn’t love the salad, though, as the ingredients were really cold. The veggies tasted like they had come straight out of the fridge, which isn’t exactly appetizing. The tomato in particular was quite mushy and obviously was not fresh. I wasn’t quite impressed with this salad.

DSC_0004My brother opted for the Sushi Dinner Box ($15), while my mom had the version with sashimi (also $15). The dinner boxes included assorted tempura, a choice of chicken or beef teriyaki, an orange, the daily special (in our case some kind of deep-fried salmon), and the requisite sushi or sashimi. The sushi consisted of nigiri (tuna, salmon, ebi, and tamago) and a tuna roll, and the sashimi for the sashimi dinner box had the same components. Starting with the tempura…the batter looked browner than normal, and we conjectured that the oil in which they had been fried was a bit old. Although the fish itself tasted fresh, the sushi rice was quite mushy, which ruined the texture. The chicken teriyaki was a little too tough, although we liked how it was moist, and neither too sweet nor salty. The deep-fried salmon looked a bit burned, and was difficult to eat because it still contained bones. It also tasted incredibly fishy, and there was no lemon to freshen up the taste. I think that this had been fried beforehand and then simply reheated for us, which enhanced the fishiness. The dinner boxes were also accompanied by a bowl of white rice.

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I went for my usual in the Oyako Don ($8.50), with a bed of white rice covered by steamed egg, chicken, and onions, with a few pieces of pickled daikon served on the side. I really liked how the daikon was included–a few bites of it helped freshen my palate. The chicken was quite moist, and the egg was smooth and creamy. Overall, I was satisfied with my dinner, and I felt that it was a good value. I liked how the chicken and onions were in bite-size pieces, which made them easy to eat.

DSC_0011My dad had the Chicken Katsu ($8), which came with some sliced cabbage and the aforementioned salad. Although he was satisfied with the chicken itself, as it was both moist and not too salty, my dad was turned off by the colour of the batter. It was quite dark, which meant again that the oil that the chicken had been fried in was old. Since we arrived earlier in the night (before 7), I found it odd that they would use such old oil.

DSC_0013We ended up ordering an Assorted Tempura ($8) to share. Oden (available on their specials sheet) had been our first choice, but apparently they’d already sold out of it, even though the restaurant wasn’t even half full when we got there, which was quite early (ie., before 7pm). Anyways…well, as with the previous fried items, we could tell that these had been fried in old oil. The prawn tempura was much smaller than I’m used to, and overall, I didn’t think this was a great deal for the price. Besides the two pieces of prawn tempura, there were only 2 pieces of zucchini, and one piece each of carrot, onion, and sweet potato. In any case, the state of the oil really bothered us more than anything else.

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And, of course, I had to order a couple of rolls, these being the Negitoro Roll ($2.75) and the Chopped Scallop Roll ($3.75). These were standard, but once again, the rice was quite mushy, so I didn’t enjoy them as much as I usually do. The toro and the scallops both seemed decently fresh, but the texture of the rice was simply too distracting.

And that concludes our visit to Fuji Sushi. Considering all the hype, we were quite disappointed. To be fair, we ended up comparing most of the items to their equivalents at Matoi Sushi, our go-to sushi place, and this place fell flat in comparison. The prices are similar, but both the food and service are much better at Matoi. Our waitress seemed to lack confidence, and constantly forgot to bring us what we asked for. Next time we have sushi cravings, we’ll probably just stick with what we know and love and head down to Matoi.

Fuji Sushi
3017 St. Johns Street
Port Moody, BC

Fuji Sushi on Urbanspoon

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