Mount Fuji is one option. Open since 2013, they have a sister restaurant in Birmingham and a parent company that imports and sells Japanese green tea.
The menu features bento boxes, noodles, sushi and curries, with more unusual dishes including takoyaki octopus dumplings and hoji-cha roasted green tea ice cream.
I kicked off with a Kirin (£3.75) whilst Mrs G had a Sapporo Premium (£4.85).
Tuna sashimi (£6.25) was impeccably fresh, tender and meaty. Salmon and avocado rolls (£4.65) were good but a bit messy to eat as they fell apart easily.
Tempura vegetables (£6.95) were lovely - an interesting selection of butternut squash, courgette, aubergine, mushroom and sweet potato were coated in a light, crisp and un-greasy batter.
Mrs G won on mains. Curry udon noodles (£11.85) distilled the essence of Japanese curry into a soup format. The sweet, warm-spiced broth contained udon noodles with good bite, soft onions and tomatoes. Pieces of chicken karaage, which bobbed on the surface, were pleasingly tender. Whilst its golden batter gradually become soggy it added a good flavour dimension.
I ordered the Kyushu tonkotsu ramen (£12.65). I believe Mount Fuji is the only place in Cardiff that serves this style of ramen which took London by storm a few years back. The rich broth is made by boiling pork bones for ages until the collagen, fat and marrow is released and a milky liquid is created.
Mount Fuji’s iteration was enjoyably smooth and creamy but it didn’t have the same meaty intensity as the version I ate at Bone Daddies. A good scattering of Japanese mixed spices (chilli, orange peel, ginger and sesame) perked the dish up nicely. Belly pork pieces, slippery noodles, crisp beansprouts, briny seaweed, diced spring onion and a bonus pair of fragrant chicken and leek gyoza were all hard to fault.
We had good dinner at Mount Fuji. It’s not my favourite Japanese food in Cardiff but it’s a commendable independent island in a sea of chains.
Address - Mount Fuji Cardiff Restaurant, St David's 2 Shopping Centre, Cardiff CF10 2EF
Telephone - 0292 0340333