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Fun Food & Good Value at Fuji Restaurant

By: Sheila J. Vaughen

Date Posted: 2001-04-14

Cool jazz music is heard at a subtle level which complements the ambiance of the simple, elegant décor at Fuji Japanese Restaurant and Bar. The menu matches the feel and style of the interior: fundamental a la carte items and traditional dinner sets that both Japanese and Americans are likely to find tasty. The generous portions and reasonable prices also make dining at Fuji a good value as well as enjoyable.

Just recently opened, the restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Eagle Lodge on Route 23. Newcomers staying in the lodge are probably going to find Fuji an excellent introduction to local cuisine. For residents, the ideal location and easy access make it a great place to enjoy a relaxing dinner prior to going out on the town.

The owner, Okinawan native Tomoyoshi Kiyuna, has assembled a menu of Japanese favorites such as yakitori, tempura, salads and set dinners. There is also a limited offering of sushi to complement the meals. A couple of items sure to impress offer good quality food served in ample quantity. The jumbo teriyaki pork rib was a large serving of succulent ribs cooked tender to order and covered with a mouth-watering teriyaki glaze. Priced at ¥900, the ribs plate was a hearty item that even a big appetite would appreciate.

Another outstanding dish was the signature Fuji salad which features shredded vegetables and fried noodles artfully formed and piled high on a plate to resemble Mount Fuji. The skill of assembly and quality of ingredients come together to make this pleasing to one’s sense of humor and sense of taste.

The dinner entrée I selected recently was the fried salmon dinner set. The main dish was large chunks of delicious salmon lightly battered and fried. The tray also came with filling California rolls, soup, salad and side vegetable dishes. My friend’s tempura items were also quite tasty.

Another aspect of Fuji that will please its patrons are the offerings from the bar. Ice cold Orion beer was served in large mugs for only ¥350, and all basic types of quality liquor, both western and Japanese, are available.

The intimate size of the restaurant lends to a feeling of wanting to linger and take your time while enjoying the simple, quality Japanese cuisine. The interior features: café style tables set off with interesting art on the walls, a sleek bar where one can enjoy food and drink while watching the grilling of some items, and a tatami room in the back ideal for private parties.

Fuji restaurant is located on the ground floor of the building which houses the Eagle Lodge and other businesses. From Hwy. 58, at the south corner of Kadena Air Base, turn onto Route 23 and the building is on your left, just a short distance from the highway. From Kadena’s Gate 2 area, turn right on Rte. 23 and head down a few stoplights past Kadena’s Gate 5 area, until you see a large multi-story building on your right. Free parking is available right in front of the restaurant.

Fuji Japanese Restaurant and Bar is opened for business both lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Lunch is served from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm and dinner is available from 5 pm until midnight. The owner speaks limited English as does the gracious hostess. Their phone number is 936-3472.

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