So, you can teach old dogs new tricks. We called on Chase Earling to help out when a planned review had to be postponed at the last minute, and the enthusiastic foodie again jumped at the chance to visit a place that has been calling his name.
A lifelong fan of Shogun and a sushi nut, Earling was eager to go to Fu-Ki Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi in Post Falls. And right up front we can say he has turned sushi skeptics into fans.
Earling came back with a good report card – though we knew he would because we snuck over for lunch the day before, just to make sure we gave them multiple chances. Fu-Ki was clean, the service was good and the food was reasonably priced – and very good.
The Earlings started in the sushi bar and were pleased with what they found, including the wine selection. The order was a delicious, spicy rainbow roll consisting of tuna, salmon, white fish, shrimp and avocado drizzled with a smoky, spicy sauce and a shrimp crunch roll of crab, avocado and shrimp tempura. They also tried the gyoza (pot stickers).
Our three-choice lunch order included the waitress-recommended rainbow roll, a big hit for the beginners, the very tasty gyoza and a shrimp sushi, which was outstanding.
Moving over to the grill, the Earlings ordered two combinations: filet mignon and shrimp, and teriyaki chicken and New York steak. With the fried rice, miso soup (disappointingly served lukewarm) and vegetables, there was enough food for a second day.
But the real draw of eating at a teppanyaki grill (Fu-Ki has six) – where you can have a party of eight or join strangers for an intimate meal where it almost demands you become friends – is the specially trained chef who doubles as an entertainer.
Earling decided that most of the Japanese grills he has tried have good food but the memories are made by the chef and the show he puts on. His Fu-Ki chef compared very favorably to Shogun, where the family often went for the birthday he shared with his grandma.
The biggest difference is atmosphere, and Shogun wins in a landslide. Shogun has more subdued lighting; Fu-Ki is a converted fast-food place with too many windows to make a top-notch dining ambiance. That certainly wouldn’t stop them from returning.
There are several outstanding sushi places in Spokane, and the Earlings have no intention of abandoning their favorites, but Fu-Ki is definitely a new stop.
With an experienced sushi eater on our payroll, we look forward to tagging along and learning more. But if Earling can’t go, we are no longer afraid to walk in cold and make our own choices. And recommendations are always welcome.