Name: Fuji San Japanese Restaurant
Location: 4105 Vestal Pkwy E., Vestal, NY 13850
Phone: (607) 797-9888
Cuisine: Japanese (Sushi/Hibachi/Traditional)
Price: Depends what you order. Consistent with other Japanese restaurants in the area.
Scattered around the Triple Cities are a few different Japanese restaurants. There's Kampai, located in Vestal, best known for their entertaining tableside hibachi dinners. There's sake-tumi in downtown Binghamton, with an expansive menu of sushi rolls and Asian-fusion entrees in a comfortable-yet-upscale atmosphere. Sakura in Endicott is a somewhat bare-bones operation offering some traditional entrees, but with an emphasis on sushi, while the Tokyo Sushi Buffet on Upper Front St. has a wide selection of all-you-can-eat sushi for a low price. And then there's Fuji San, located across the street from Binghamton University inside Quality Inn. A weird place for a restaurant of this sort to be located, no doubt. It's somewhat shocking that until last weekend, we had never been to Fuji San. After attending a basketball game at BU, we decided to try out the sushi at Fuji San for a postgame snack. We hoped it would deliver more satisfaction than our beloved Bearcats were able to muster that night.
Fuji San is a much larger restaurant on the inside than I expected it would be. There are a couple hibachi tables toward the front, a sushi bar straight ahead, and a larger dining room back and to the left. It's a pretty nice place, casual enough that you can wear jeans, but nice enough that you could go there for a special occasion. Only the carpet is a major tip-off that you're inside a hotel. At any rate, we elected to sit near the sushi bar and placed our order for a gyoza appetizer, a Spider Roll (soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo) for me, and a Boston Roll (cucumber, avocado, masago) for Megan.
The gyoza appetizer was pretty delicious. For those not in the know, gyoza are Japanese potstickers, usually with some kind of beef or vegetable filling. These were beef gyoza with a little bit of green onion thrown in, served with a soy ginger dipping sauce that was really good. I would definitely get these again.
The sushi was next to arrive. I will say that generally speaking, sushi in this area cannot compare with what you might find in New York City or other large cities. So if you are used to eating sushi in the City, my guess is that you will find the sushi in Binghamton to be of lower quality. That said, I thought this stuff was pretty good. The rolls were well-presented and stayed together very well. I felt the quality of the seafood was good. In fact, I think all of the sushi places in Binghamton offer a very similar experience, quality-wise. What separates some from the others is decor, presentation, and service, and Fuji San is among the best in all three areas. The service was top-notch, very quick and polite from the moment we walked in until the moment we left. All in all, we were left quite impressed with what Fuji San had to offer.
I look forward to trying out Fuji San for hibachi sometime, but I would definitely go back for sushi again too. It's a clean restaurant with a nice, relaxed atmosphere, the service is great, and the food is at least on par with the other Japanese places in the area. If you are a Binghamton University student reading this review, also note that Fuji San delivers to campus, a definite plus on those ridiculously cold days where you don't want to step outside. Overall, I give Fuji San a solid recommendation.