As a cat saunters through the St David’s shopping mall in Cardiff I would be surprised to be confronted by the Japanese scene of Mount Fuji, but that is exactly what my ‘sedentary world travellers‘ reported on their New Year’s Day stroll.
I am told the style of design for the restaurant is themed on the famous Shinkansen Bullet Train… a kind of meals-on-wheels if I am thinking about my ‘resident old git‘.
It has a further sense of the unique, as most shopping mall eating joints seem to be all-too-familiar chains of look-a-like, taste-a-like, draw them in, feed them, and move them on establishments. Shopping malls are about shopping first, with eating as the add-on. However, the Mount Fuji idea is currently in a chain of two (also available in Birmingham) and focused on the eating experience, with claims to present authentic Japanese cuisine from the Mount Fuji prefecture in Japan.
My ‘intrepid experimenters’ both went for the same starter of Chicken Gyoza:
This was a pleasant but reportedly unremarkable dish of chicken and vegetables in a pasta shell, with the taste improved by the accompanying soy sauce dip. But this place comes into its own as the main dishes of Pork Stir Fry Donburi (with pork strips, rice, onions, peppers and a ginger sauce) and Chicken Fillet Teriyaki Bento (with rice, salads and pickles):
A green tea and a nutty-flavoured Japanese latte complemented the early afternoon meal, but the restaurant offers a range of wines and sakes for early in the day alley cats taking a break from their liquid breakfast in a paper bag (no judgement on prospective shopping mall customers there then)!
Friendly and helpful staff were on hand to offer any explanations needed about items on the menu, particularly when selecting from a couple of lattes that you will never find on the menu at Costa, Cafe Nero or the imperious Coffee#1.
Service was leisurely, which makes most of us cats feel welcomed and unrushed; so don’t expect this bullet train to be providing fast food at fast pace.
Another close up of the Chicken Teriyaki certainly makes this cat’s taste buds move into overdrive: