By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
Fujiyama Mama is a sushi and hibachi restaurant located on South Avenue in Westfield, NJ. When my family first started exploring with sushi and I was a fairly young kid, we dined at Fujiyama Mama often. I hadn’t been back until recently and I didn’t expect to be quite so pleased.
I have been saying for a while now that these days it isn’t too difficult to find a sushi place with decent special rolls and good prices. Most sushi restaurants have special rolls and most of the rest are interchangeable. Nearly every spot has a Rainbow roll and a Dragon roll, but Fujiyama Mama’s sushi chefs go above and beyond with their rolls.
Aside from the usual suspects like Rainbow, Dragon, and even the ‘No Name’ roll, Fujiyama Mama’s other rolls include ingredients like roasted onion, eel tempura, baby lobster tempura, broiled Chilean sea bass, and real crabmeat.
Mind Eraser, the rice-less roll containing the real crab, also includes tuna, salmon, spicy lobster, avocado, and jalapeno. I enjoy rolls without rice, but they’re hard to come by unless they are wrapped in cucumber, which I find too watery and too crunchy. So, this roll in particular was a fun surprise.
Because New Jersey has so many restaurants, it’s quite hard for a restaurant to get a liquor license. Fujiyama Mama is one of the only sushi spots I’ve been to in NJ that has a liquor license and their staff certainly puts it to good use.
The restaurant offers a variety of wine, beer, sake, and cocktails. The cocktail list is quite intricate and includes eight different martinis, two margaritas, seven frozen cocktails, and 19 drinks on the rocks. I stuck to two of their more tame cocktails. First, I ordered the watermelon: vodka, Midori, and fresh cranberry juice, then followed that with a 007: Stoli Ohranj, orange juice, and 7 Up. Both were good, but I enjoyed the 007 a bit more as it was essentially just a jazzed up version of a screwdriver. Next time if I’m feeling daring, I’ll try a martini or a frozen drink.
Fujiyama Mama also serves non-alcoholic beverages: soda, juice, mocktails, Japanese soda, smoothies, bubble tea, and milkshakes.
The space is quite large and Fujiyama Mama has hibachi seating separate from the sushi seating. It’s well lit and modern, but when it’s busy the acoustics aren’t great. It can grow quite loud, which is something that’s often a deal breaker for me. Aside from the noise, though, there’s not much that isn’t just right with Fujiyama Mama. The service is kind, quick, and knowledgeable.
Fujiyama Mama is the only place outside of Napa, California I have been to that serves real crab in its sushi, so for that alone this spot receives tons of credit from me. For once, volume level isn’t a deal breaker.