Fujiyama is situated at the top of Chinatown inNewcastle upon Tyneand is a typical Teppan-Yaki style restaurant where food is cooked in front of you on a hot plate by highly skilled artistic chefs. Traditional Japanese food and sushi is also available to order but for first time patrons I would always recommend the theatrical experience of teppan-yaki.
A Set 4 course lunch served from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm costs £7.50 and set evening meals start from £18.00
When you first enter Fujiyama you are seated at the reception area to peruse the menu, drinks orders are taken and soft music is played adding to the experience. The tables and chairs in the receptions area have a bamboo look about them and there are various traditional pictures dotted around. Staff are always friendly and welcoming and happy to answer any questions regarding the dining experience.
Once you have made your choice and ordered you are seated at the hotplate, an apron is provided for any spillages and you are offered normal or cheats chopsticks. No knives and forks here!
The lunch menu is made up of four courses. The starter is a Fujiyama Salad which I forgot to take a picture of but consists of mixed lettuce, Cucumber, Tomato and a delicious creamy sauce.
The soup course is a bowl of Miso soup containing tofu, seaweed and spring onions. I find miso soup both satisfying and warming; I love the salty taste and different textures that this soup provides.
The Main course is where the action begins, the chef introduces his or herself and oils the huge hotplate that the diners sit around.
The first item to be served is a choice of either Salmon or King Prawn, on this occasion I opted for the Salmon which takes seconds to cook and is fried in garlic butter and soy sauce, very delicious and moist. During the cooking of the starter the chef will turn out the lights and say “fire” this is when they pour rice wine over the food and set fire to it; which usually results in “oohs” and “aahs” from the adult diners and squeals from the children.
Whilst cooking the fried rice the chef usually performs tricks with eggs by using the cooking spatula to throw them in the chefs hat, diners are usually asked if they would like a go as this usually adds to the fun if you are with a large group. The rice is served and although it does not look a lot in the bowl, it is actually very filling and I always find it hard to finish.
The Chicken Teriyaki is served next. The cooking process is usually started at the same time as the salmon / king prawn and left to cook in a self made tin foil cooking pot. I’ve eaten a great deal of Chicken Teriyaki and I have to say that fujiyamas is by far the best!
The fried vegetables are the last to be served and add crunch and flavour to the meal. By this point the show is over and you are usually left to finish the food, you can however continue to watch the spectacle at other hotplates.
The last course is Dessert and you are offered Vanilla Ice cream or Green Tea, by this point I was full to bursting point and the thought of anything other than liquid horrified me so green tea was the choice for me.
I did however manage to make room for my fortune cookie which told me my life would be happy and peaceful!
A four course lunch time meal for £7.50 in the Gourmand opinion is excellent value. If you are wanting to dine on a weekend I would suggest booking as the restaurant does get very busy.
Fujiyama, 35-39 Bath Lane,Newcastle upon Tyne, http://www.fujiyamarestaurant.co.uk/