Kendall Square Cambridge. Since 2010 this area has been on the rise for exciting new restaurants and simple eateries. In December 2011 the area welcomed it’s popular and quite successful Fuji at Kendall restaurant.
Now, the 1st thing that I LOVE about this restaurant is the FREE Valet Parking. How convenient! Who wants to struggle finding parking around busy Kendall Square? Not I said Potbelly.
I thought to swing by for dinner after work since I told myself that I would stop by this buzzworthy spot for some months now and finally had time. Although it wasn’t too busy when I arrived around 6PM on this weekday evening, when I left around 8PM the crowd was coming.
Although Fuji might be new to Kendall, it’s not new to the city of Boston. This is the 7th location of this restaurant group owners Jimmy Liang, Peter Tse, and their partners Tony Liang, John Liang, and head chef Ming Cao. Other restaurants include Fuji 1546, B Café, Shabu Restaurant, Bistro Chi (which I LOVE) and Kama Restaurant. This is now my 3rd time trying out this group for restaurants and I must say I haven’t been disappointed.
I decided to order a couple of popular selections recommended by Tiffany the bartender. To start I got the Volcano 4 piece sushi that consisted of Tuna, Avocado, Tempura Crunch, Red Crabmeat, Tobiko, and Spicy Aioli Unagi sauce (a thick and sweet sauce based on soy beans). I followed with the Pineapple Fried Rice that contained Pineapple, Raisin, Curry Spice, Shrimp, Chicken, Onions, Peppers, and Snow peas, served in a Fresh Pineapple Shell. Daring. Then, as a surprised I was able to try not only the Tempura Tako Bites (squid aka calamari) but also the Tempura Styled Fried Cheesecake as dessert. This was the CLOSEST since doing reviews that my potbelly became “visible”. A lychee martini washed down my happiness, completing the meal perfectly.
Now depending on what you usually spend on sushi, Fuji can be perceived as expensive or quite reasonable. In the end, you get what you pay for and at Fuji, your money is well spent! The menu is broken into 7 sections making it satisfying for many. Appetizers range from $5 to $15, while Soups are between $3 to $7, and Salads are between $7 and $18 dollars. That’s just one section of the menu.
Nigri (2 pieces), Sashimi (3 pieces), and Sushi (4 pieces or more) range between $3.50 and $9.50. That doesn’t include the entrée’s in this category or the makimono (rolled sushi in 6 pieces or more). Sushi boats (which I MUST return and get) range from $40 to $120. Trust me, there’s A LOT to chose from. Definitely a crowd pleaser. In the wok tossed + noodle section dished are priced between $14 and $22 meanwhile desserts are a simpler choice of ice cream or cheesecake between $7.50 and $9.50.
First out was my Volcano Sushi which was lovely! The Unagi sauce was thick and added to the favor of the dish with that minor sweet blending with the meat. I actually enjoyed the tobiko, usually it’s my least favorite. It was necessary here. That mix with the tempura crunch created a party for my maw.
With a few sips in between of my martini I moved on to my next course, The Pineapple Fried Rice. This dish had so many positive notes to take away. Served in a Fresh Pineapple Shell gave this meal an A+ on presentation. Everyone within eye sight wanted to know what that was. The use of rice, fruits, veggies, meat, and seafood in one serving not only satisfies the “daily balance” of healthy pyramid items, but plays with the creative side of culinary magic. Although I’m not a fan of Japanese curry (I’m Jamaican and LOVE my spicy curry powder) this was still pretty good and should not be ignored by foodies looking to try something new.
The Tako Bites were perfect little poppers. No sauce needed. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. I could eat a whole bowl of these.
And finally, drum roll please, I got to eat the tasty, mouth watering Tempura Styled Fried Cheesecake with Vanilla Ice Cream, topped with Strawberries and Chocolate Sauce. If I were one to rate items, this dessert Alone would get a 8.5!!! I mean this is the BEST way to end a meal at Fuji if you’re into desserts/cheesecake. The warm and creamy cheesecake texture mixed with the cold, dense ice cream, plus the sweet berries and chocolate sauce had given me great memories. Very Impressive. I’ve had deep fried ice cream before and heard of deep fried cheesecake but I must say if the others don’t taste like this, I won’t write about them. Well done Fuji at Kendall!
I’m glad to see this restaurant is becoming, if not already is a local favorite with local employees in the area as well as newbies to the city. The sophisticated atmosphere and pleasant staff makes it easy to come in and relax whether at the bar or at a table. I met a woman while dining who was from Texas and said she was so happy to be in a city where the options for cultured food seemed endless. I recommended to her the Volcano Sushi to start and she got it. Glad to know I can help spread good food to others at any point.