Flaming volcanos, sizzling seafood and aromas of steaks on the grill will whet appetites at Kennewick's newest restaurant, Fujiyama Japanese Steak House & Bar.
The grand opening is Tuesday, with a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m. It's in the Southridge area of Kennewick at 3617 Plaza Way off Highway 395 near Bob's Burgers & Brew.
This is the third Fujiyama restaurant that owner Peter Chen of Olympia has opened. Other locations are in Sliverdale and Olympia.
"Fujiyama is a hibachi-style restaurant, though some refer to it as teppanyaki," said regional manager Nick Serdar.
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Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cooking. Teppan means iron pan, and yaki means grilling.
At Fujiyama, the chefs cook at the table on 2-by-4 foot grills. It's what happens at the grill that makes hibachi dining interactive as well as tasty.
"The chefs create a lot of energy at the table flipping shrimp, chopping veggies and making jokes with the diners. If there are kids, they make Mickey Mouse faces in the rice and lots of flaming volcanos," Serdar said.
To create a flaming volcano, the chefs stack onion rings in a cone shape, leaving the center hole open. When they pour vegetable oil in the top and light it, flames shoot high in the air.
"It's impressive," he said. "Fujiyama is a great place for entertaining guests and business groups and it's absolutely family friendly. We can accommodate everyone from a couple who want a private, intimate dinner to large families and corporate events."
The six hibachi tables are set up in giant C shapes with a grill at each end of the C and seats set along the curved sections.
"We can seat 20-plus people at each grill," Serdar said.
Serdar's favorite dish is hibachi calamari.
"They're not the calamari rings you see everywhere, but steaks, which makes them much more tender," he said.
Customers really like the combos, shrimp and steak, chicken and steak, steak and lobster. The best deal, he said, is the Fujiyama Deluxe, which includes filet mignon, lobster and scallops.
Dinners run from $15 to $36.50 and include salad, soup, shrimp appetizer, vegetables, steamed rice and the entree. Lunches are half the size of dinner entrees and run $10.50 to $11.50.
Everything on the menu is also available to eat in the lounge or for takeout.
Fujiyama has a full service bar and features Columbia Valley offerings on the wine list.
Serdar said the owner has been looking at the Tri-Cities, and especially the Southridge area, for some time -- partly because there's nothing quite like the Fujiyama hibachi-style restaurants here.
Kennewick was chosen for its strong economy and proximity to other businesses.
"This is a great place. We could not be happier with this specific location because it's a growing area. We hope to dig our roots into the community and be a part of it," Serdar said.
Hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and from 12:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, go to www.fujiyamawa.com. Or call 735-7722.