Alanna Hall is a 7-year-old who does not need to be told to eat her vegetables. “She loves vegetables; all kinds of vegetables,” her mother, Cindy Hall, said as she tucked into a heaping helping of them. “She’s also fearless. She’s into trying things out.”
That is why an increasing number of kids like Alanna and parents like Hall prefer to dine at restaurants like Fujiyama Japanese Seafood & Steak in Melbourne, where teppanyaki-style fare, including those heaping helpings of vegetables, is standard.
Actually, Fujiyama Japanese Seafood & Steak probably would be described better as a combination restaurant, because in addition to having an area large enough to serve as a stand-alone eatery with those familiar, tricks-with-knives-and spatulas activities, it also has a spacious formal dining area with sushi bar.
The décor is sleek and stylish, with light wood and tasteful art in the bar and main dining room; and dark, granite-covered flat-topped grills in the teppanyaki area. The menu offers meat and seafood tempuras and teriyakis as well as katsu, negimaki, soups and salads.
Sushi-wise, the offerings are extensive: 10 entrees; 22 nigiri or sashimi choices; 21 sushi maki or hand maki (rolls); and 13 special rolls, all bright and artistically presented as expected, complete with carved vegetables. Clearly, someone at Fujiyama has a Brooklyn connection because one of those rolls, a slightly crispy thing comprised of salmon, asparagus, cream cheese and masago, is called “Bay Ridge.” The piece de resistance, “Super Volcano,” is a California roll topped with cooked scallop and crabmeat and cream cheese, served with a house sauce.
At the grills, the knife-and-spatula tricks are clever, but kept to a minimum, though the chef’s manner of dousing a fire with water from a toy – if you’ve seen it, you understand – provides comic relief. Vegetable, chicken, steak, salmon, scallop, filet mignon and lobster tail, and combinations of the aforementioned items, are prepared at the grills, along with soup, fried rice, a shrimp appetizer and piles of mixed vegetables. It’s not overcooked, not redolent of oil and the meat is as advertised, and lean.
It’s all the sort of stuff that modern kids crave, and Fujiyama hosted several of them while Alanna was there for a “girls’ day out” with her mom.
“We teach our children to eat vegetables and I am so glad that she is into them. She doesn’t want to eat fast food or junk. Her tastes are diverse,” Cindy Hall said.
Added Alanna, “I just love Asian food.”
Fujiyama Japanese Seafood & Steak.
Address: (immediately south of the Home Depot)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Other: Take-out and children’s entrees available; bar service includes various Japanese beers.