Fuji Asian Food and Sushi Bar
Hagerstown’s Hidden Gem for Great Asian Food
By Angela Niessner
Shirley Liu and her husband Reggie are the owners and operators of a quaint little Asian restaurant hidden away on John F. Kennedy Drive in Hagerstown. If you aren’t looking for it, you might easily miss it, as it is situated on the upper level on the back side of the shopping center. That would be an awful shame because this is a real gem for Asian food lovers!
The Lius have been in the restaurant business for well over twenty years. Shirley Liu is originally from Shang Hai, China while her husband Reggie is from Taiwan. They are a shining example of what many immigrants call living the American dream. The two made a home in Alabama early in their marriage and began in the food industry there. Before making their way to Hagerstown a few years ago, they owned and ran a restaurant in Shepherdstown for two decades. The decision to open Fuji Asian Food and Sushi Bar in late 2019 would prove to be a good choice for the Lius, despite the unexpected challenges that came soon after. COVID-19 forced them to close for a period of months and then to be further limited to carry-out and delivery only upon reopening. It was the fall of 2022 when Fuji was able to offer full dine-in service again. Throughout those months of restrictions, Fuji managed to establish itself as a favorite to a great many diners thanks to the excellent food and outstanding service they provide. “People who tried the food came back, and then they told their friends about us and they would come and try it,” said Shirley Liu.
While visiting Fuji for lunch last week I enjoyed a fantastic Veggie Roll (sushi), and simply delicious Thai Basil Beef entrée. I had never been there before, nor had I ever ordered from there. Let me say one thing up front. I freely admit that I am very particular about what I eat. I am not easy to please.
My food was absolutely amazing. The beef was tender and full of flavor, served with broccoli, snow peas, napa water chestnuts, green bell peppers and just the perfect amount of basil sauce. I ordered a vegetable type of sushi roll which was made with avocado, yellow radish, sweet potato and an extra added ingredient; imitation crab meat and drizzled with what Shirley called eel sauce. The flavors and textures were delightful in every bite! As I was eating, I sat near the front of the restaurant and observed other diners as well as customers who came in to pick up carry-out orders. One thing that struck me was the warm and friendly manner in which the staff, which includes the Lius themselves, greeted each person. One woman spoke to me and asked me if I had eaten here before. I told her no and then she went on to say, “Everything here is delicious, it’s all wonderful! And the service is, too!”
Shirley and Reggie Liu and their employees all treated me as if I were an honored guest in their home. They smiled and spoke very kindly to me as they showed me to my table and made me feel not only welcome, but special! This type of high-level service and hospitality is rare today and I certainly appreciated it. The simple décor is bright and clean with softly colored light fixtures, checkered tablecloths and soothing Asian music filling the air. All in all, a very pleasant atmosphere in which to find a relaxing dining experience. Daily lunch specials are available and parking is abundant right outside the door.
Fuji’s menu offers endless variety and reasonable prices. Appetizers, soups, and entrees of all sorts make for a diner’s favorite conundrum. What do you choose when everything looks so good? Before leaving I decided to order an entrée to take home to my husband. Knowing what he likes, it was easy for me to choose General Tso’s shrimp. Large shrimp breaded and fried to golden crispness, and just-tender broccoli, beautifully dressed in the sweet-spicy sauce the dish is so well known for. As an added treat, I also took the opportunity to try some bubble tea. For those of you who know what that is, I don’t have to tell you that it’s sweet and rich while also being quite beautiful to look at. More than just a beverage, it feels like a luxury. I couldn’t decide on just one flavor to try. No problem. I simply ordered two! The mango flavor with its vibrant golden color, and the taro flavor which is a type of Chinese sweet potato in a soft lavender hue, were both so appetizing that I got both and took them to-go.
“Everything here is delicious, it’s all wonderful! And the service is, too!” – Happy Customer
Discovering Fuji Asian Food and Sushi Bar was a happy occasion for me. Had I known that it was there all along, I would have become a regular customer a long time ago.
11205 John F. Kennedy Dr.
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