Stanley on Bain has been the location for Port Elizabeth’s dining renaissance over the last decade. It’s home to the original Vovo Telo and its offshoot pizza outlet, and it’s also where you will find this hole-in-the-wall sushi spot, the highly personal expression of the chef-owner “Mark Sushi” – as he introduces himself. A grounding at the ever-busy Willoughby’s in Cape Town’s waterfront gave him a good overview of Asian cuisine and from there he has made the food of China and Japan his quest; returning to his home town to start Fushin.
He’s not looked back and today Fushin is highly regarded as a Port Elizabeth food option, notwithstanding its small dimensions. One of the benefits of a compact venue is the likelihood that you will be better served and here you get the distinct feeling that they’re ready to look after only your personal sushi needs.
The sushi counter is large and therefore prominent and seats right up at the chefs is a great option for single or paired diners. The modern, neat, red accented interior with stark white/black accents otherwise offers four-seaters or pavement tables for larger groups. The wine list is personal and interesting with most of the wines by the glass, also sake options.
On the busy menu, creative and extensive salads, dim sum, a tapas section, a rice and noodle bar for bowl food, plenty of sushi (much of it speciality pieces of their own creation that show a fusion bent) and also tempura. Then there is a section called “Chef’s kitchen” with Peking duck pancakes and Thai curries.
The prices are reasonable (for example a platter of 15 piece nigiri for R110) and the quality is consistently good, with an eye to presentation. I sampled the nigiri and found it very good, with firm rice and good balance; dim sum that was fair (R55); “spicy baked Peruvian scallops” that were excellent (R58) and “kakiage” – strips of vegetables in tempura – that were very good (R25). A halva ice cream to finish was appropriately rich (R35).
Fushin is imminently opening a modern cocktail bar two doors down to offer tapas-style dishes and creative, “molecular” drinks. A preview look inside suggests it will immediately be the see-and-be-seen spot and add another dimension to this mostly casual strip of eateries.
For: Good, fresh seafood and Asian dishes in a energetic space.
Against: Probably not for lingering meals.