Lady date in MVD pt. 2: Fusimi Sushi

Before my sister left for Italy we went on a little lady date. A day full of pampering and stuffing our faces with delicious sushi and chinese food.

In my first post I talked about our time at Me Spa and I’ll be glad to note that we have since gone back for manicure and pedicure and again, AMAZING! Seriously everyone should go there. 

Now to talk about our time at Fusimi Buffet in Punta Carretas. I had heard about Fusimi from a fellow expats blog called Ask Annette. I had never attempted to eat Asian food here for two reasons. a) Lack of fresh fish at the supermarket and b) Hadn’t found an inexpensive enough place. Sounds pretty ridiculous I know but I might as well be honest. 

Like many restaurants in Montevideo, Fusimi does NOT have a website or state their hours on their Facebook page. Being a buffet, and my being American, I would have thought it would be open from noon until at least midnight but alas like most things in Uruguay they take a siesta from 3:30pm to 8:00pm. My sister and I thought we would be safe arriving at around 6:30pm but they didn’t reopen for dinner for another hour and a half. Luckily the buffet is around the corner from the Punta Carretas shopping mall. 

Off to the mall we went, window shopping and debating getting snacks from small vendors in the mall. Actually I will say one thing I LOVE about Uruguay is the McDonald’s soft serve stands they have inside the mall. Independent little soft serve stands, I mean seriously it’s amazing. Anyway, we decided to get some coffee from the McCafe downstairs and wait for Carlos to get out of work to join us. 

After some very amusing people watching, Carlos showed up and off we went back to Fusimi. It’s a relatively small place with not as large of a selection as a buffet in the States but after being away from the States for so long and used to smaller portion sizes I was appreciative of the small selection. 

The staff is trilingual from what we could tell, however I wouldn’t be surprised if they spoke more languages. Fluent in English, Spanish, and Mandarin (at least I think it was Mandarin. Now I feel like a jerk for not having asked). The waitress noticed us speaking in English and addressed us in English. Not necessary but we appreciated it. There were several other diners present but not enough to feel uncomfortable or overpacked. 

Being pros at the buffet game my sister and I quickly placed our purses on our chair backs and grabbed our plates heading straight for the buffet. Piling up the delicious looking sushi, kung pao chicken and fried rice I was set. I wish I had my phone to take pictures of the food but you’ll just have to take my word for it when I say it was everything I could have hoped for and more. The sushi was delicious and welcomingly lacked an overabundance of cream cheese—Uruguayans LOVE Philadelphia and at most sushi places you’ll rarely see a roll that isn’t stuffed with some—and had a mouthful of fresh fish. The fried rice and chicken dishes were delicious and comparable to the stuff I normally ate in Miami. 

Carlos had three or four plates full of food while Vanessa and I could barely finish two. Our server was surprised we didn’t want dessert but seriously who could have more space in their stomachs after everything we ate? I was disappointed it took us this long to find a place like this but glad we gave it a chance. The prices are decent in comparison to other sushi restaurants in town: $390 pesos for lunch and $490 for dinner. They also have a takeout option where you pay $390 per kilogram and sushi is $20 per piece. Not bad in my opinion considering restaurants will charge you $300 for an eight piece roll. 

I will most definitely be returning to Fusimi in the near future, but I don’t know if I’ll be bringing PJ with me. She’s still too young to eat a lot of the food there except maybe for the rice. My aunt is visiting us from Miami mid-September and this will be a nice change of pace when she’s tired of parrilladas and churrasco. 

Fusimi Buffet. Solano Garcia 2468 esq. Jose Ellauri. Hours: Sunday through Thursday 12:00pm-3:30pm and 8:00pm-12:00am. Friday and Saturday 12:00pm-3:30pm and 8:00pm-12:30am. They are closed on Tuesdays. 

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Day in Montevideo: Trip to see Santa

I’ve got Christmas on the brain! It’s one of my favorite holidays and I want to share that with my daughter. Last week my husband and I decided it was the perfect time to take Paloma to visit Santa Claus. Friday was the last day of school in Uruguay until February so we thought going any later in the season would result in long lines and overly excited children.

On Thursday, my husband and I packed the baby bag and headed out for Montevideo (from now on referred to as MVD). We live in a small town called Sauce–pronounced saw-ou-seh–which is about an hour and half bus ride away from the capital. Since Paloma was born, I’ve only gone to MVD a handful of times because it’s too long of a ride with Paloma since she starts to squirm not being able to run around. It’s funny though because if we take the car to MVD she can handle it but the bus ride is just too much. I think it has to do with the new people, new sites, new sounds thing.

Anyway we took the bus to MVD, and got off at Tres Cruces. Tres Cruces is a bus terminal in MVD which doubles as a mall. They just opened a new jungle gym in a park dedicated to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 across the street and we decided to take Paloma there to use the swings. She loved them! She loves seeing the older kids run around the park and tries to chase after them but she’s just too young. I always tell her one day she’ll be able to play with them but you can tell it’s not good enough for her. After a few minutes we started on our way for the taxi stand to head to the mall.

This is the placard for the park. It translates to, "Tribute of the city of Montevideo to the 1,500,000 Armenians victim to the first genocide of the 20th century. Starting on April 24th, 1915 by the Turkish Ottoman empire. Montevideo April 2005"
This is the placard for the park. It translates to, “Tribute of the city of Montevideo to the 1,500,000 Armenians victim to the first genocide of the 20th century. Starting on April 24th, 1915 by the Turkish Ottoman empire. Montevideo April 2005”
On the swings with mommy!
On the swings with mommy!
With daddy :)
With daddy 🙂

I don’t know about you but whenever we take a taxi with Paloma, I’m freaking out about the lack of car seat in the taxi. I mean sure we don’t have one on the bus either but the bus drivers aren’t as crazy as taxi drivers. Most of the time I’m holding onto her for dear life, cradling her head to protect it from the plastic/glass barrier.

Anyway, so once at the mall we decided to eat lunch at a small café around the corner called Philomene. I wish we would’ve snagged a picture of the actual café or the food but we were too distracted. It’s a quaint little place on the corner of Solano Garcia and Miñones. The inside of the café is small but not crowded, and I fell in love with the bathroom. It’s upstairs and tiny but it didn’t feel cramped. When and if you ever visit Uruguay you’ll realize why one would notice the bathroom. After we finished our meal we headed straight for the mall again.

Punta Carretas Shopping is my favorite mall in Montevideo. It actually used to be a prison at some point in Uruguay’s history but I don’t know much else about its time as a prison. When we walked inside you couldn’t help but notice the Christmas decorations. I was in heaven! They had a three story tree in the middle, surrounded by little Christmas scenes like Santa in his workshop, carolers singing, and an animated Mrs. Claus in their living room talking to the visitors. I couldn’t get a good picture with my phone so I’m borrowing a picture from the local paper.

Picture credit to El Pais.

Paloma went crazy running around so I couldn’t get a good picture of her here either but just so you can get an idea I’ll add some more from the paper.

Santa in his kitchen making some Christmas goodies. No gender stereotypes here! Photo credit: Sociedad Uruguaya
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Paloma with her daddy in front of the giant teddy!
Paloma in front of Santas kitchen.
Paloma in front of Santas kitchen.

After getting lost around all the beautiful scenery looking for Santa, I caved and asked one of his “helpers” (a.k.a. two high school aged girls standing around looking at their phones giving off a “GO AWAY” vibe) where we could find him. Third floor. Food court. Seriously, you have this beautiful scenery and you put Santa on the third floor next to the food court? But I digress. Off we went to visit Santa. Luckily there was no line. We paid our $130 pesos for our picture (roughly USD $7). Paloma is usually really good with strangers so I didn’t think twice about just handing her off to Santa for the picture. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Paloma HATED Santa. I’m talking full blown crying, screaming, and just overall awful. I will say this is the first time I’ve experienced/heard a Santa hand a screaming baby back to it’s mother before the picture. I swear through his bushy white beard and long hair his piercing eyes were letting me know he wasn’t having any screaming baby on his lap. I already paid for my picture so we made it a family “portrait” instead. Paloma sat on my lap while I sat next to Santa and Carlos sat on his other side. The elf was really nice and helpful but Santa was just not having it.

This needs no caption.
This needs no caption.

After our encounter with Santa we picked up our picture, were welcomed to Uruguay by the guy manning the printer (which doesn’t happen often, seriously he was SO NICE), and walked around the mall aimlessly. After about half an hour we decided we should head for the bus stop to head home to avoid afternoon rush hour.

The bus ride home was no longer or shorter than the bus ride there, but I will say that the lady sitting next to us was nice and understanding of my hyper toddler. She played with her for about the first forty minutes, allowing Paloma to pull her hair, touch her mouth and scream for attention. I wasn’t too excited about it but honestly I was too tired to care at that point. After the lady got off the rest of the bus ride was spent playing with Daddy, looking out the window and trying to touch the head of the man sitting in front of us.

The light of our lives.
The light of our lives.

Overall we had a really nice day out as a family. It doesn’t happen too often since we don’t have our own money to go out. But when it does, I really enjoy spending the time alone just the three of us.