Our friend of ours wanted to dine at Zen, so the four of us went to West Van to try out the place. It was a warm summer evening, so we sat out in the patio.
A bit higher end than your typical sushi place, we were looking forward to indulge in some fine dining. The water took forever to come out and our thirst seemed worse since we had been outside for most of the hot day prior to this dinner. When they did come, my glass was all scratched up like crazy as if it went through the garburator. It wasn’t dirty, but it wasn’t nice to drink out of, especially at a fine restaurant like this. My friend asked ‘what the heck happened to your glass??’ Their own custom branded plates and bowls! The napkin was folded in a neat way that kept us busy trying to figure out the folds.
The negitoro was an expensive $6.50 but I didn’t notice anything superior to any rolls for half the price at other places. It wasn’t as flavourful and the nori (seaweed) was really chewy. It didn’t have the fresh nori smell I loved. This is not worth ordering here.
The Tori Gyoza $7.95 was something unexpected. It was nicely presented, but it was not gyoza. It was more like deep fried karaage. I guess if you like karaage, then you’ll be jumping for joy, but I love gyoza so it was a bit of disappointment. Not saying that it didn’t taste good, though I found there was too much sauce for my liking. The veggie wrap in the middle was refreshing and nicely put together.
Tuna Tataki $13.95 was 5 pieces of sliced tuna. This was my favourite dish out of the three. It came with horse radish, ginger and negi (green onions) which went really well with the ponzu sauce. The tuna was really soft and fresh. An excellent dish.
My friend that wanted to try out Zen asked the server what he recommends for a drink. He brought her the Zen Lemon Ginger $10. I had a sip and it was zesty, cold and really refreshing after a hot day in the sun.
Sheepie had the Kimchi Yaki Udon with pork $10.95 which was a decent size and priced fairly.
Another friend ordered one of the Zen rolls. The Millennium Roll $15.95 with dungeness crab, salmon, tuna wrapped in egg crepe with honey dijon sesame. But as him, Sheepie and I always say – the fancy rolls that are so popular these days all taste the same regardless of the content because they drown it with all the sauce. In this cause, we said the crab flavour was lost and the mayo was too strong.
Overall, it was satisfactory but I would not order the Negitoro again. I personally would pass on the gyoza as well since I still prefer the traditional gyoza. The fancy roll is a hit and miss.