In search of pre-gig sustenance in Brixton, hubby, bro-in-law and I found ourselves in Fujiyama, a "Japanese" place on Vining Street.
I'd read glowing reviews on london-eating so we were happy to park ourselves on the restaurant's hard, wooden benches (especially when I noticed there was a strange ante-room off to the side where diners were sitting quietly and uncomfortably).
However, alarm bells should have rung when the (non-Japanese) waitress didn't understand our orders till we pointed at the laminated menus.
The food arrived far too quickly - bro-in-law was still powdering his nose when his bowl of Karai Chicken Ramen arrived.
A small, sad tangle of noodles was swamped by greasy-looking broth, a slab of chicken and some chunks of red chilli - he said it was "fine" but I wasn't convinced; neither did I think that the twelve beansprouts and cheek of lime on the side could save it.
Hubby's Yaki Udon was meh - the mild curried flavour was pleasant enough, but the noodles were over-cooked and claggy and the other ingredients felt like an afterthought.
My Chirashizushi was the worst however. It looked stunning, but the toppings smelt and tasted metallic - the way fish is just before it's about to turn.
I was hungry and paying £16 for the privilege however, so I polished it all off - tinny tuna, chewy ark shell, rubbery prawn, over-soused mackerel, bitter lettuce, the lot.
Surprisingly though, the sushi rice was good - pearly and warm.
Unfortunately, my Fujiyama mixed fruit juice was also warm (and mostly foam), though fresh-tasting.
Hubby and I also had a side order of tempura which, though fairly tasty with a lovely dipping sauce, were flaccid and far from piping hot.
Anyway, deed done, we paid and ran off to the gig, only for me to have stomach-ache all night ...
I don't particularly mind if food purporting to be Japanese isn't authentic (and believe, Fujiyama is far from authentic) but this was pretty poor.
I wouldn't go back, especially as last time we were in town, Ichiban gave me sashimi that was truly beyond reproach.
Sadly for us this time around, Ichiban was shut.
From the menu, we chose:
Karai Chicken Ramen £6.80
Yaki Udon £6.40
Fujiyama Japanese Noodle Bar
5-7 Vining Street
020 7737 6583/2369