April 1, 2010

Fuji Hibachi Grill

By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

A restaurant in Normal is offering entertainment with your meal.

Eric Shangraw is having the weekday lunch special at Fuji Hibachi Grill, in this week's You Gotta Eat.

Fuji Hibachi Grill took over the old Baker's Square location in Normal. Instead of homemade pie in the glass case, it's raw salmon, tuna, and yellow tail fish.

Fuji's only four months old but many of its employees have years of experience. They came here from KOBE, the other Japanese style restaurant in the twin cities.

"I love sushi. And the best part of KOBE moved over to Fuji. So I followed them," said customer Pam Roney.

You can sit at the sushi bar and watch a chef section fish and assemble it with dry seaweed, avocado and fish eggs.

"The presentation is half the fun," said customer Josh Lillie.

But like a circus, the big top entertainment is at the Teppanyaki bar. A chef prepares your meal before your eyes. He incorporates spatula drum solos, volcanic burst of fire, and the competitive vegetable tossing and catching contest.

Photographer Larry Foulk ordered the Fuji Grilled Chop Steak. The chop steak comes with onion, garlic, a touch of Terriyaki sauce, vegetables, fried rice and soup or salad.

I had the Sukiyaki Steak. It is a different cut of tender meat, same side of veggies as previously mentioned.

It is all fresh, steaming-hot, healthy and delicious.

"They have a nice selection. The meat is good. And it is just a nice experience," said customer Shannon Aussieker.

"It is pretty funny. And our chef squirt the Saki for you. Drink more Saki. More happy," said manager Joyce Chook.

With drinks our bill for two, $15.54 plus a more generous tip than usual: it is split between waitress and Teppanyaki chef.

If you're having a rough day at work, this quick burst of Japanese levity is guaranteed to last through the rest of the afternoon.

Fuji Hibachi Grill is on South Veterans Parkway in Normal.
They are open seven days a week.
The lunch deal we reviewed is offered only on weekdays from 11am until 2pm.

Fuji Hibachi Grill
321 S. Veterans Parkway
Normal, IL

Monday-Thursday 11am-2pm 4pm-9:30pm
Friday-Saturday 11am-2pm 4pm-10:30pm
Sunday 1pm-9:30pm

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