Restaurant Review: FUSIAN (Westerville)
FUSIAN is a sushi spot that started with its first location in Cincinnati. It’s long touted itself as sushi for everyone, but it’s not just sushi for everyone, it’s also sushi for everywhere. At this point in the game, Columbus has its very own FUSIAN eateries in Easton, Grandview, Clintonville, and it added Dublin and Westerville this past winter. Evidently, Columbus diners have a hearty appetite for sushi.
That said, expectations matter. In concordance with its “everyone” mantra, FUSIAN is not so much a glitzy, precious sushi spot for glitzy, precious palates. It’s a place that gets the job done. While guests can customize any roll, in the glorious tradition of Chipotle, there are enough preset house combos to make the burden of decision blessedly light for a newcomer. FUSIAN is fast-casual sushi, and stays in that lane.
One more thing: The name “FUSIAN” is deliberate. Sushi sensibilities are fused with non-traditional ingredient choices, such as roasted chicken or peanut butter.
So let’s get right to the bird, shall we? Let’s just check out the Spring Chicken Roll. The combination is braced with a mild soy wrap – a sensibly neutral pairing for poultry. The roasted chicken is teamed with cucumber, cream cheese, scallion, a spicy mayo, sweet soy (which is reminiscent of something teriyaki), and some tempura crunchies. Verdict: The roll is a little loose, it’s less tight than fancy sushi, but it works. Outside of the chicken, the other ingredients are familiar favorites in the sushi scene. The Spring Chicken is a dish for the curious, a good starting point for further exploration at FUSIAN.
The Philly Roll has stronger flavors. Rice-side-out, it teams smoked salmon (like lox), cream cheese, cucumber, intense red onion and a generous dose of everything bagel seasoning. While salmon might be a familiar element in the sushi scene, it’s not typically smoked. Again, it’s a successful combo, charmingly outside the arena of traditional sushi offerings.
A more traditional option might be something on the lines of a California Roll. FUSIAN has those as well. Sprinkled with sesame seeds, it packs the anticipated collection of crab(stick), avocado, and cucumber, and benefits from the zippy addition of the house sweet soy sauce.
Beyond the roll options, there are a few other offerings that include salads and the Tuna Poke Bowl. It’s built on a rice foundation, and stars two rich elements: velvety pink chunks of wild-caught tuna, and silky avocado. The two mix it up with more cucumber (it seems to be in everything), perky edamame, and sesame seed.
FUSIAN also offers its very own in-house selection of non-alcoholic beverages. A fellow diner enthusiastically recommended the Lavender Lemonade, an option that, other than its alliterative features, seems counterintuitive. In execution, the fragrant lavender element lifts the childhood classic, and makes it feel fresh and sophisticated. Two lessons: 1) lavender and lemon go together and 2) listen to happy fellow diners.
The Westerville version of FUSIAN can be found at 79 S. State St. Hours posted on its website indicate it opens every day at 10:40 a.m. It closes at 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and at 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, visit fusian.com.
All photos by Susan Post