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Dine Out Vancouver: Zen Japanese

Posted on Posted in Restaurants

Dine out Vancouver is back and in full swing, I took this as an opportunity to check out a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try, Zen Japanese. Zen is an Ocean Wise partner and I had heard nothing but good things about them. Traditional Japanese with a West Coast flair.

For my starter I had the Zen style dungeness crab and hokkaido scallop cakes. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that rather than a traditional crab cake, these were whole pieces of dungeness crab and scallops encrusted with coconut panko! The seafood came topped with Japanese style ume plum and lemon tartar sauce. Accompanied with a beet and cherry tomato salad. Delicious.

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For my main I ordered the Chef’s Signature Sashimi – but because it wasn’t 100% Ocean Wise I asked them just to not bring me the two items that were unsustainable, and in their place I ordered a piece of extra mackerel (I paid extra for this) – they were nice enough to add a second extra sustainable item to bring the sashimi count back up to 9 which I thought was very nice of them – most places aren’t very flexible during the busy dine out season and I would have been just as happy with less pieces.

Each piece of sashimi was artfully presented and prepared, you can tell a lot of thought goes into each piece. The flavours were all great and I had a very difficult time picking a favourite. Some pieces were done in traditional Japanese style, some very West Coast and some fusion. 

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Dean ordered Chef’s Signature Nigiri, also 9 pieces, all very artfully presented. Again the flavours and the presentation were great, he said the scallop was the best piece of sushi he’d ever had.

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For dessert I had the macha tart, which was green tea pastry cream paired with fresh blackberries and mint. The pastry was kinda meh (a bit soggy) but the pastry cream with berries was delicious. 

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Dean had the warm chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream and orange, I had a bite – quite good! Nothing incredible, but the brownie was moist and rich.

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We enjoyed our dinner and can’t wait to come back and try more of the menu. Arigatou gozaimasu!

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