Fujiyama is the precursor to the Japanese cuisine boom in Melbourne. For thirty years the family operators have prepared Brighton's finest Sushi, Bento, and Teppanyaki with very little fanfare in the unassuming venue on Bay Street.
I dropped in on an afternoon to take photos for our website, and was met with staff that I can only describe as family. The owner Le Pham met me and showed me around the restaurant, which was built decades ago by visiting Japanese architects. The modest front room is home to two teppanyaki tables surrounded by a beautifully hand painted mural of the venues namesake.
Working your way up through the venue, the classically Japanese architecture makes itself known. Painted timber panels in red and black, offer a glimpse into the kitchen, where veteran sushi chefs masterfully carve market fresh fish into awe inspiring arrangements.
Deep at the back of the deceptively long venue, private tatami rooms with closing doors house diners in intimate space with beautiful lighting and hard timber furniture. I insisted on using one for the days shoot.
Fujiyama has been in Brighton for a long time. The layout is diverse and can feel busy, and seating is tasteful and modest. The venue shines in details. A recurring theme in Japanese hospitality is well-maintained, carefully cleaned, very personal spaces, and Fujiyama feels like home. The detail in paintings, ornaments, and traditional furniture shine when you pay attention, and make for a zen experience dining on their extremely well prepared traditional cuisine.
When the staff began bringing food out for this feature, I was taken aback. The detail, evident quality, and care in each dish alone was enough to warrant a visit on personal time, and if you live in or around Brighton, you're shooting yourself in the foot by missing this modest gem.
Here's a quick look at what we had.
If you see what I'm seeing here, I advise you make a trip to Fujiyama on Bay Street in Brighton. While you're there, pay with the Liven app to earn yourself a cool 25% back in Liven credit to spend the next time you visit Fujiyama, or any other venue listed on Liven.