Although I try not to regularly, sometimes you just gotta give in to your obsessions and get sushi.
One night that I allowed this to happen, we decided to head over to Mr. Fuji Sushi in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, NY.
The decor of the restaurant seems out of context. You walk into a place inside a strip mall, and the interior is modern and edgy, almost like something you’d expect to find in New York City, only much smaller and much less annoying. They have a cool looking cat clock that waves at you, and, since I’ve been doing this half enthusiastic wave to people from across the room lately, I naturally waved at the plastic cat the second I saw it.
Also, and I should probably get this over with now, what drew me in this time was a coupon I found in the Clipper Magazine. It was like $5 off $40 or something. Nothing significant, but I did not pay full price for my meal.
I actually liked the Clifton Park installment of Mr. Fuji, so I was bound to try this place anyway.
I ordered a dancing eel roll (Spicy shrimp and crab, masago roe, scallion, crunch rolled up with eel and avocado on top) as an appetizer. As you can imagine from the ingredient list, this was going to be a busy roll.
There were a few things I didn’t like about the roll. The most visually obvious was the balance between rice and fillings/toppings. There was very little rice in this roll, and the rice that was there was not appreciably seasoned and was overcooked. The fillings and toppings tasted great, but the crunch, which is usually panko bread crumbs, was fairly soggy.
Another thing that you can amass from the above image was that my appetizer came simultaneously with my dinner, 3.125% of which can be seen in the same very image.
And, actually, this is a good time to speak about the service.
It was a Friday evening, approximately 5:30 pm when we arrived. The server that we had was extremely attentive and almost condescendingly complacent. Except for the time when I ordered the spicy maki combo (spicy crunch tuna, spicy crunch salmon, and spicy california roll), I asked to double up the tuna rolls and ditch the salmon roll, because I was not in the mood for salmon that night. Upon this request, she argued that she’d have to charge me extra; I declined the offer for a pretty specific convoluted reason: I’m not going to pay extra for a menu substitution that would normally cost the same thing and would create less work for the chef.
Eaten side by side with the appetizer roll, these rolls suffered from the same ailments as the dancing eel roll. Underseasoned, overcooked rice. The contents of the rolls were not bad, even the salmon and the California roll, which usually tastes like nothing. There was definitely a lot of filling; almost too much.
Perhaps they were having an off night, but this experience was average to below average.
But the dining experience did have its saving graces.
Remember when I made that comment about the waitress being “condescendingly complacent” and you had no idea what I was talking about? When I notified the waitress that I found a coupon in the Clipper Magazine, she said “YOU SO LUCKY!!!” before I could even finish explaining. So that was pretty fun. Also, the waitress had forgotten to bring the ginger salad that came with my dinner, and when I realized (when I had dinner in front of me), I brought it to her attention. She replied with some off hand comment about me not needing it and patted me on the belly. I didn’t care or anything; it was just funny.
But I am trying to lose a lot of the belly.