Kolkatans are surely fond of experimenting with food. They try out various cuisines, various restaurants, various ingredients while cooking and new recipes from cook books, social media or television while preparing food at home. This fondness has found new wings over the last five years when the food scenario in Kolkata has changed drastically. Bengalis are now fond of Shawarma rolls as much as they love their beloved Chicken kathi rolls! Chicken nuggets have shared the love with Mangsho-r chop and LN2 ice creams have successfully made us drool the same way we drooled for Kulfis! And this acceptance has been widely applauded by the food entrepreneurs and restaurateurs. There has been enough encouragement to carry on and to open up more out-of-the-box eateries presenting amazing recipes, food ideas, food preparation techniques, and cuisines from around the world. However, I must admit the Japanese big daddy of the town ‘Fuji’ is definitely one of the pioneers to lead this food revolution in the city of joy! In fact three years back I was so moved after trying out the food at Fuji, that I decided to take up food blogging more seriously and I realized a wind of change is coming and this is surely going to amend the food scenes in the city, and I must say I was not incorrect. So, how did Fuji inspire me and made me serious about everything revolving ‘round food?
To start with, Kolkatans were pretty conservative about Japanese food. In fact they still are, apart from all those foodies, enthusiastic youths, international travelers and foreigners. People has a notion that Japanese food must be smelly and not that tasty. But that is not true. Unless the fish is stale there should not be anything smelly and if you are dining at Fuji, you can put all those worries in the trash bin since Fuji uses the freshest ingredients and imported spices and sauces while preparing their food. Coming to the taste, the palate for Japanese food needs to be developed which you can’t develop overnight but since Japanese food is healthy and gives a comforting feeling to your body it is surely something your body will accept more readily than it will accept a spicy plate of chicken chaap or chicken butter masala!
Fuji has got branches in Delhi and Chennai. Here in Kolkata it is located at 209A Sarat Bose Road (quite close to Desapriya Park crossing) and it is located at the 3rd floor of the building which has got an unimpressive entrance with ‘BAR’ written all over the place. But you are sure to be enticed when you step into the restaurant. The property is not that huge but the décor has made it very special and gives it a true Japanese look! The traditional low seating arrangements, custom made window panes, typical Japanese artworks, authentic Japanese umbrellas on the walls, typical crockery, open kitchen and waitresses in Kimonos greeting you and serving your dishes – everything makes you feel very special and gets you into a world perfect to enjoy your favorite plate of Japanese food. I loved everything at this place starting from sushi to tempura to yakisoba! And even the mocktails! All credits for this visit of mine goes to First Idea PR and Fuji management, thanks a lot for this invitation! This food tasting session was surely one of a kind! Truly loved it! Everyday you do not get Japanese food tasting invitations sitting right here in Kolkata!! 🙂
Now coming straight to the food which I tried at this place! It all started with the amazing Chicken Momo Soup! The clear broth was so soothing it took me into a trance 🙂 The momo in there had a lovely silky skin and was loaded with minced chicken filling. The fresh veggies in there made the broth even tastier! That’s pure comfort food for me! Then came the Maki mono sushi platters. The Delhi Maki had 4 pieces in that platter and had teriyaki chicken rolled in that layer of sticky rice, savor it with a dip in soya sauce, bit of wasabi and a bite of ginger! The Kolkata Maki came in next and yes, it looked gorgeous! Here the outer layer of sticky rice had prawn tempura rolled within it with teriyaki sauce on top! I loved the Kolkata Maki more when compared to the Delhi Maki and that’s absolutely for that prawn tempura in there!
We had a lovely soothing Ocha by pot in the meanwhile, which had warm jasmine tea served in that traditional Japanese ceramic bowl with a lid having intricate designs on it! The mocktails were also coming in and I loved the Iced tea, Pink Heaven having the right mix of pineapple juice, strawberry crush and vanilla ice cream. Also the Virgin Mojito was so good here that we had to order for a second glass of it! It had the perfect mix of mint leaves, lemon, crushed ice, sugar and soda! Then came the Prawn Tempura which tasted heavenly with a dip in that soya sauce. It was perfectly fried in that light tempura batter and was crisp outside while fresh and juicy inside! The Vegetable Tempuras followed next and I loved the one with onion rings! In the mains, we tried Mixed Yakisoba which was served in traditional Japanese bowls and I devoured it with those classy black chopsticks! I loved this wheat flour noodles in that typical oyster sauce base with all those veggies, shrimps and meat in there.
Also loved the Salmon Teriyaki which had pan grilled salmon in that flavorful teriyaki sauce! The meal was aptly concluded with a bowl of Wasabi ice cream which had a tad spicy flavor with a slight tang to it.
Overall, the dining experience was exemplary. The warm greetings and reception I received from Mr.Palash Banerjee (MD, Fuji, Kolkata) made the tasting session even more special. Restaurants like Fuji are very important for the gastronomic scenarios of Kolkata and I am extremely pleased that I got an opportunity to spread that word to more and more people across the city and the state. I am sure you guys will love dining at this place and would surely like to give your taste buds an authentic Japanese treat sitting right here in Kolkata!