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Mt Fuji Japanese Restaurant – Deptford, NJ

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Can Fuji Become Chewru’s Favorite Sushi Joint?

Mt. Fuji Japanese Restaurant
Deptford, NJ
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Meal: Dinner / Weekday / 730p
Price: $38 (For Two – Does Not Include Tip)

I’m starting to notice there are a lot more sushi places in South Jersey than I originally thought. For the most part, I’ve given my sushi dollar to Tokyo Mandarin (previously reviewed), but at a good twenty minutes away, competitive alternatives are certainly enticing. While hitting up the neighboring Pathmark, my buddy and I noticed Mt Fuji and decided to give it a spin.

Mt Fuji is a small, discrete sushi bar in the Pathmark shopping complex off of Clements Bridge Road – a minute or two from the Deptford Mall. It’s clean and friendly, but it’s on the small side and not ideal for a larger group of people unless you want to be broken up into groups. The ‘bar’ area itself seats three or four, and there was a single chef working his magic. The lone waitress was polite and seemed genuinely interested in making smalltalk with my buddy. Beyond that, there was mild cultural adornment on the walls and faint sounds of Japanese music. Clearly, they’re going for a quiet approach. The lighting was bright; I think Fuji could benefit from dimming the lights just a little bit. You get a choice of tables or diner-style booths – we chose the later – and found it comfortable.

Since all Fuji offers is Japanese (not a ‘combo’ restaurant that also offers Chinese), you’d better like sushi. We tried the Spicy Maki combination rolls (18 pieces), Scallop, Avocado, and Eel Rolls ( 8 pieces), and Spicy Crab (8 pieces). Surprisingly, because the later two were from the ‘Chef’s Special Menu’ (and were more expensive), they didn’t come with any starters whatsoever. The cheaper Maki rolls (which my buddy ordered), came complete with an orange-glaze salad and tofu soup. I grabbed a few leafs of lettuce while he fumbled with his chopsticks, and thought that it seemed fairly refreshing. He’s not a big tofu lover, but seemed to enjoy the soup (which I coveted deeply).

We waited an appropriate time to receive our rolls, and it was certainly worth the wait. While my friend’s smaller, more numerous rolls looked fairly common, my larger, ‘premium’ order was definitely attractive, even garnering a comment from my friend that he wished he ordered them instead. The crab meat rolls (which had a fancy name related to Dancing?l) alternated between being wrapped in shredded crabmeat and avocado. This was a very neat touch I haven’t seen before (kind of a double-shot of crab for half of them), and they were absolutely delicious. Offered with the traditional wasabi and ginger, I ate slow to enjoy each bite. When I was nearly finished the first 8 rolls, I was served the scallop (diamond rolls) and was again very impressed with the presentation.

The rolls alternated between an eel wrap and avocado, and were slightly cooked per the style I’ve received scallop-based rolls before. I’ve never had eel before, but apparently I really like it (heh) as I devoured the first one. It’s a tough call to compare these to the competition at Tokyo Mandarin, but I’d have to give Mandarin a slight edge based on the size of the scallops and the overall taste. Still, you can bet I’m going to be searching the menu for something eel-wrapped the next time I’m there. =)

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Mt Fuji. You can order pickup, but they won’t deliver. The price was on par with what we’ve seen elsewhere … expect to pay at least $15 for a good portion. You should also be able to find coupons in your local Coupon Clipper or similar magazine that comes in the mail every month; I’ve seen them for orders of $35 or more and had I know that we were going there I’d probably have looked for one. I can’t say it tops our reigning Japanese Food champion, but it’s a very strong showing that the owners should be proud of.

Pros:

– Terrific quality sushi
– Pleasant, quiet atmosphere
– Polite, believably-nice service

Cons:

– Too small to bring a lot of friends
– No appetizer with the most expensive stuff?
– No delivery

Upgraded 6/6/08: 4.0 to 4.25. Been here multiple times now. Always consistently good.

Guru’s Score: 4.0 Chews

 ★★★★½

Subjective rating: Great dinner for two.

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Last 7 posts by Chewru Guru

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Mt Fuji Japanese Restaurant - Deptford, NJ, 4.9 out of 5 based on 22 ratings

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2 Responses to " Mt Fuji Japanese Restaurant – Deptford, NJ "

  1. Jenn says:

    Hey, nice review. I have been going to this place at least once a month for over a year and they make a point to know me by name and make me feel like an important customer. I agree that they are genuinely polite and chatty. They are always quick with my orders (I usu. do pickup). I must have been there over 20 times and they have only made a mistake once. I, too, used to frequent Tokyo Mandarin, or Mandarin Palace, or whichever one is in the Staples Shopping Center (not much difference as they are both part of the Mandarin Group), and I find Fuji to have the same high quality sushi but much more welcoming, much friendlier, more calming atmosphere, slightly less expensive, and easier to get into the parking lot! From the first visit, due to the above, I knew I had found a sushi place I could call ‘home’. I had been switching between a few places and had been dragging my feet with commitment to Mandarin. Once I found Fuji, I just knew.

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  2. Chef Doug says:

    Mt. Fuji is my favorite sushi place. The food is great, friendly service and it is clean. I absolutely recommend you go for some sushi.

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