Fuji Japanese Restaurant

When it opened in 1991, Fuji was one of the first Japanese restaurants in Budapest. From a Japan-inspired posh dining room, they served pricey dishes to well-off locals and expats looking for exotic tastes in post-communist Budapest. Almost three decades hence—an eternity in restaurant years—Fuji is still around. After several visits, it appears that Fuji’s continued popularity is rooted in its longevity and status symbol rather than the quality of its kitchen.

The sushi and sashimi are very expensive, the sashimi selection costs €30, and not always very good; for example the only thing spicy about the roll of spicy tuna maki was the pungency of the wasabi paste. The non-fish dishes are hit or miss. The karaage (deep-fried chicken thighs; €8) and the yakitori (skewered chicken; €3 per skewer) felt like afterthoughts, but the katsudon, a rice bowl topped with fried eggs and breaded pork, and the tamagoyaki, slightly sweet Japanese rolled omelette, were both excellent. Fuji is one of the few places that serves chawanmushi (€6), a savory, steamed egg custard with morsels of chicken thigh and shrimp. Plenty of sake and Japanese beers are also available.

Few upscale Japanese restaurants exist in Budapest, so despite the somewhat inconsistent dishes, Fuji can be worth a visit for a special occasion.

We visit all places incognito, pay for our own meals and drinks, and write independent reviews.