Fuji’s sushi and other Asian fare a buffet worth sampling in Concord

Fuji’s sushi and other Asian fare a buffet worth sampling in Concord

Fuji’s sushi and other Asian fare a buffet worth sampling in Concord
Fuji Roll from Fuji Sushi Buffet.

Richard Eber, Taste and TellCONCORD, CA (Mar. 23, 2023) — All-you-can-eat restaurants have always been popular with diners.

So-called chuckwagon eateries, featuring abundant meat, starches and desserts, have been a mainstay in the local culinary scene. But except for the Golden Corral Buffet and the high-end Brasas do Brazil steakhouse, unlimited portion faire has shifted to Asian cuisine in Concord.

The most prominent places to dine include:

China Wall. This huge restaurant features a large selection of Chinese dishes that have been served to a couple of generations of Concord families.

Ohgane Korean BBQ and Gen Korean BBQ House. These two restaurants feature cooking devices at each table that allow patrons to prepare their own food. This format has proven to be a major success for young people on dates and those who want some excitement when going out to eat.

Shabuya. This Japanese-themed restaurant at the Veranda utilizes a hot pot format. For each person, a vessel is filled with broth. Then thin slices of meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles, etc., are added. A large selection of dipping sauces enhances flavors to suit individual palates.

Fuji Sushi Buffet

Fuji’s sushi and other Asian fare a buffet worth sampling in Concord
Fuji Buffet general manager Joe Deng displays some of the menu options.

Despite being hidden behind Buffalo Wild Wings on Diamond Boulevard, Fuji Buffet has found increased popularity by word of mouth since opening last year.

Fuji does not serve so-called “gas station sushi.” Despite a fixed per meal price for everything from exotic rolls to nigiri (slices of fish) to tempura, the restaurant utilizes premium ingredients. They even offer soft shell crab in melt in your mouth spider rolls. Everything is included for the same price, except beverages and tip.

During my visits to Fuji, I sampled a wide variety of seafood, including unagi (eel), saba (mackerel), tobiko (flying fish roe), maguro (tuna) and sake (salmon), just for starters. At local high-end Japanese restaurants, ordering two or three of these items costs about the same amount as a full meal at Fuji.

Fuji’s format is much different than most buffets. Diners can select sushi items, rolls and nigiri from a slow-moving carousel. Workers prepare custom rolls in the center of the revolving apparatus sometimes referred to as a Sushi Boat.

At the helm of the sushi buffet is Dee Sinh Ly. He started his first restaurant with this format some 30 years ago, catering to the UC Davis campus crowd. Ly explains his formula for success: “We count on large volume, small margins and eliminating waste to make our business prosperous.”

Another thing Ly does is negotiate a large volume with seafood suppliers on a weekly basis “to keep our costs in check.”

Not just sushi

Customers who like their sushi “well done” can find menu items that don’t involve raw fish. One such option is the veggie dragon roll, which features tempura yam, broccoli, green bean, cucumber and avocado.

When diners are filled up with raw fish, Fuji serves hot main courses. Especially noteworthy is the shrimp and vegetable tempura. Other favorites include fried oysters, sesame chicken and grilled salmon teriyaki. I also enjoyed the grilled Hamachi Kama (yellowtail collar).

After consuming all of this wonderful food, one cannot resist the desert course of fried banana and sesame balls. I was so full it was difficult to clear these tasty treats from my plate.

After dining at Fuji Buffet, return visits are guaranteed. They are open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. for lunch and 5-8:30 p.m. for dinner each day at 2090 Diamond Blvd., Concord. For more info, call 925-822-3043.

Between Fuji and other Asian all-you-can-eat restaurants in the vicinity, hungry diners have abundant choices.

Rich Eber
Rich Eber

Rich Eber is a local journalist and long time resident of Concord.  His diverse topics covered go from politics to gourmet food.  He can be reached at rjerje@pacbell.net