Fujitei, St Kilda
Food: Tuna Tataki, Mixed Sashimi, Soy Duck Breast, Tori Kaarage, Lamb Cutlets, Gin Dara Saikyo Miso Yaki (Black Miso Cod), Panacotta,
We loved the tucked away seating at Fujitei. Already on a quiet, residential street in St Kilda (but very easy to get to – and trust me on this, we used to live there) Fujitei manages to make a busy restaurant seem like a calm oasis. It could be the beautiful lantern tree in the centre, it could be the seating at the back of the building overlooking the courtyard garden, or it could be the way the staff work effortlessly together to make serving a full restaurant seem easy but it’s just the ideal environment to relax and enjoy a nice meal with friends or family.
The menu has an upmarket feel, the sushi and sashimi in particular all have premium options available, yet the space is a little rustic with painted brick walls and chunky wooden tables. It’s not sleek or cookie cutter at all, there’s a real personality about it, almost as if you’re in someone’s home. The outdoor seating area, ideal for a private function, with the small garden, is like a tiny little oasis! Owner Ryo will greet you with a big smile (if he’s not in the open kitchen cooking your food) and dishes will come with plenty of advice about how best to enjoy them.
We started with the tuna tatiki, mixed sashimi and soy duck. For us the fish dishes were the stars of the menu and you’d be doing Fujitei a disservice if you didn’t order at least one. The tuna tatiki was the stand out of the whole evening for me, I loved everything about it. The toppings were great and really added to the flavour, the tuna has a great meaty taste. Perfect sear, ideal way to start your meal.
The mixed sashimi is always a great benchmark for a Japanese restaurant and we loved the freshness of this one. I really liked how they included a fish of the day as part of our selection, it was snapper when we visited and it was nice to try something a little different. There was a healthy serve of wasabi on the plate too! The duck was another good dish – served medium, the skin was nicely seared too. If you’re a big meat eater, or want something a little heavier, opt for this, otherwise tuna all the way!
Next we sampled the chicken kaarage. I was amazed how thin and light the batter was and how much flavour there was in these juicy chicken bites. What definitely stood out for us at Fujitei was, regardless of which section of the menu you order from, the quality of the food was absolutely consistent. Finally we moved on to the lamb cutlets and the black miso cod as our mains.
Again it was the fish that won our hearts. While the lamb cutlets were excellent, great quality meat and perfectly cooked in a peppery sauce – that cod was just, wow! It just fell apart into individual flakes as you cut into it. The miso brought out almost a nutty flavour in the dish. We’ve had miso cod before, but this dish was just next level. As with everything that leaves the kitchen it’s beautifully and thoughtfully plated and we’re confident that you’d love this dish just as much as we did.
We finished up with the panacotta – which is definitely more of a degustation variety than what you’d picture in your head, but it was an ideal size to just finish off your meal. Not overly sweet, but the perfect consistency and very very enjoyable – topping off for us an excellent evening!
Address: 17 Wellington St, St Kilda
Tue 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to late
Wed 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to late
Thu 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to late
Fri 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to late
Sat 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to late
Parking: Being on a mostly residential street it’s actually really easy to get street parking almost right outside.
Getting here on PT: Get pretty much any Swanston Street tram and alight and St Kilda Junction(3, 3a, 5, 16, 64, 67). The 78 tram, 96 tram and Windsor train station are all within a 10 minute walk too!
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Fujitei, St Kilda. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.