Another review on a Japanese restaurant; how predictable of me, huh? ;) I’ve been meaning to try this Japanese family-run restaurant since forever, but didn’t make my visit until several months ago (yes, I’m really behind on my reviews. I went to Guu Saka Bar 6 months ago and the post still isn’t up yet). Go figure :P
Zen is actually located in Scarborough, by Eglinton East and Danforth Road. The interior is similar to other Japanese restaurants, although much smaller than I imagined. My friend and I took advantage of their delicious and affordable lunch specials. Going through their lunch menu, my eyes stopped at the Chirashi sushi and udon combo. How could I possibly not order my beloved chirashi sushi? Of course I did :) And so did my friend :D
Chirashi sushi & Udon ($13.95) was the best deal in my opinion. If you’ve been following my reviews and you still don’t know what a chirashi sushi is, then you deserve a smack on the head ;D An assortment of (hopefully) fresh sashimi beautifully arranged and garnished on a bed of sushi rice; nothing else can satisfy me more than that. I happily said my hellos to each and every one of those fishies, paid my respect, and gobbled them up to a happy place. The fishies were fairly appetizing without being too soft nor frozen. Raw squid was also included here which is not too common in other chirashi sushis. I was a bit disappointed in their rice, unfortunately. It was too dry to be served in a chirashi, and swallowing it was unpleasant as I could actually feel it going down my throat. Yikes!
The side of Udon was decent and the broth had a nice flavour to it. The udon itself was neither too firm nor soft, so I enjoyed it. I’ve never ordered udon at a restaurant before since I’m not really a fan of it, but this was quite delicious. Also gotta love them pretty fish cakes too!
I wouldn’t say that Zen exceeded my expectations, because they clearly didn’t. Rice preparation is a common downfall for many Japanese restaurants, and sadly Zen hasn’t perfected it yet. I would come back to try other items on their menu, and hopefully next time their rice won’t be as dry :)
2803 Eglinton East
Scar, ON M1J 2E1