Fuji: Revitalizing Kendall Square with Japanese Cuisine and Fashion
Fuji is a restaurant that fuses traditional and modern Japanese cuisines and traditional and modern Japanese fashion. Familiar dishes such as sashimi are served alongside creative dishes like the mango shrimp, which is served in the body of the actual mango used to cook with. The plates are carried out by wervers wearing Kimonos designed by local Boston designer Drea Couture.
“We are different from other restaurants because we have both traditional and modern-style Japanese dishes,” said Jimmy Liang, the owner of the restaurant who founded the original Fuji in Quincy with his best friend Peter Tse in 1998. Since then the team has expanded and added five other restaurants featuring other types of cuisine such as Shabu, Tapas and quick sushi takeout.
Fuji opened in Kendall Square in December 2011 and has helped shape the growing neighborhood. Since the opening, several other restaurants and businesses have sprung up, turning a once dull area into a bustling social hub for young professionals nearby.
“Kendall square is listed as one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the country. We want to bring more people to this side,” said Matt Smith, the general manager.
Let’s Talk Magazine had the pleasure of being able to taste some of Fuji’s delectable dishes prepared by chef Ming Cao. These dishes are made with fresh fish delivered daily as well as basil, mint, tomato and other ingredients grown in the small garden right outside of the restaurant.
Salmon Wonton Chips: Crunchy chips served with a fresh, chunky mixture of salmon sashimi, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. The contrast of the brittle chips with the soft, cool sauce is a delicious sensation.
Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp: Served in the very pineapple that was carved out and cooked in the rice, this dish is pleasantly sweet and flavorful. It is a great twist on traditional fried rice, which is usually warm and salty versus sweet and refreshing.
Salsa Special: The zesty house salsa is served with asparagus wrapped in yellowtail sashimi. Like the salmon wonton chips, the contrast of texture is what makes this dish unique, along with the pop of flavor in each bite.
Sashimi Regular: This dish included salmon, tuna, yellowtail, shrimp, octopus, fried egg and flying fish roe. Sashimi that tastes entirely fresh is hard to come by, but each piece tasted fresh and cool. The presentation was clean and simple, which added to the refreshing taste.
Mango Shrimp: Like the Pineapple Fried Rice, the mango shrimp is served in the actual mango used throughout the dish. The hint of spice against the sweet, cool mango makes this dish a pleasant surprise. General Manager, Matt Smith cites this dish as his favorite on the menu and we would have to agree!
Hamachi Kama: Broiled collar of yellowtail fish served with cucumbers, teriyaki and ponzu sauce. This dish is probably the least flavorful on the menu and left a lackluster impression on me. However, if you are a fish lover you might enjoy this warm dish.
Watermelon Tuna Special: Tuna sashimi wrapped around watermelon served with a cilantro and pineapple chili sauce. This dish was the most refreshing on the menu, a perfect summertime snack.
Fuji at Kendall Square is located at 300 3rd Street in East Cambridge. To learn more and to take a closer look at the menu, please visit http://www.fujiatkendall.com/.