Samui Wining & Dining
Sunshine and Sushi

The combination of Japanese food and Samui sunshine are a perfect match!


16Thailand is a country of intense patriotism and tradition with pride in the fact that throughout history the nation has never been colonised by another country. Despite maintaining many aspects of the Thai way of life, the country’s tolerance of other cultures and influences has seen an explosion in the international culinary options available, from the street all the way through to the five star resorts and restaurants.

    This may seem ironic when one of Thailand’s biggest and most popular exports is its exceptional cuisine, you’ll almost always find a Thai restaurant regardless of what city or country you may be in, and yet, even on a small tropical island like Samui, you can choose to sample traditional fare from just about every other country imaginable.

      However, it’s Japan and Japanese food which has taken the world by storm and become something of a global food phenomenon. Despite the ancient traditions and extensive history of Japan as a country of cultural significance, the globalisation of Japanese food is a relatively new introduction to the international dining market.

      It has always been common to find examples of French and Italian restaurants pretty much everywhere, but in the western world, even as recently as 30-40 years ago, the thought of a restaurant selling raw fish would have been the talk of fools. Nowadays sushi bars and restaurants are evident in towns and cities around the world.

       Japanese restaurants commonly feature in TV shows and in blockbuster Hollywood movies, ensuring worldwide acceptance and making Japanese food part of everyday life for many people, young and old. In fact it is now reported that Japanese food is the third most popular choice amongst international travellers, behind only Italian and French.

      In Thailand specifically, most Thais tend to resist the urge to try many of the international cuisines on offer. However, when it comes to Japanese food, it seems that they just can’t get enough.

      As well-versed food lovers the Thai’s certainly seem to appreciate the preparation, decoration and skill that goes into a Japanese meal, as well as the fact that most of the food is relatively healthy and, for the younger Thais, Japanese food is becoming increasingly trendy.

      As a result of this desire and popularity, the incredibly successful restaurant chain Fuji, stepped into the market to satisfy demand.

      One of the main reasons for Fuji’s impressive record throughout Thailand is the fact that the company has found the right balance to appeal to everyone. In Bangkok, as well as in most cities around the world, many Japanese restaurants, and there are many, are aimed at the higher end of the market. They are exquisitely designed and often expensive, being aimed very much at tourists and western clientèle.

      Fuji has managed, through clever marketing and over 30 years experience, to create a chain of restaurants with the ability to bridge the gap between locals and internationals. The clean-cut stylish designs and tasteful decorations appeal to the western tourists and residents in Thailand, whilst the costs and strategic locations of the numerous branches also attract the local lovers of Japanese food.

      Not only are the restaurants affordable but they are also situated in shopping malls, supermarket entrances and resort complexes to maximise visibility and availability for everyone.

      Food plays such an important role in everyday Thai life, whether you’re a Thai national or a foreigner visiting or living in this kingdom, that taking risks with food is not something to be taken lightly.

      Thai people will often drive past several noodle soup stalls to go to a specific one where they believe the taste is better and where they feel comfortable in getting the food they want, regardless of the time, distance or any difference in cost

      Foreign residents too will stick to restaurants where they know what to expect, and although they may try new options, as and when they open, most tend to navigate back to the tried and tested places they’ve used before. And even most tourists will find a place they like and have several meals at that one place because of the quality of the food, the price or the friendliness of the staff.

      This is another element in the success of Fuji. When you visit a Fuji restaurant you know exactly what’s available on the menu and that the quality of both the food and the service will be exceptional. This consistency is a major factor in encouraging return visitors. Whether you visit either of the two Fuji restaurants here on Samui, at Tesco Lotus in Bophut or at the Mercure Samui Chaweng Tana Hotel on the beach road in Chaweng, or in fact any of the rapidly growing number of branches throughout Thailand, Lao and Myanmar, you’ll be guaranteed the same dining experience.

      The menu is extensive with over 100 options to choose from, including sashimi and sushi to tonkatsu and tsukadashi. The food is always fresh and the menu provides photographs of each option to help if you’re unfamiliar with some of the dishes by name. You can choose from one of numerous set dishes or simply select from the a la carte options and be prepared to be impressed. Open kitchens, together with Japanese décor and styling, ensure a sophisticated and relaxing ambience in which to enjoy your meal and the cheerful and attentive staff complete this memorable culinary experience.


Tom Hunter


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