Sushi Zen - mayo covered everything

Finding a high rated sushi establishment in Surrey was really surprising...and hugely hugely disappointing. I don't know how they got a 94% approval rating, but Sushi Zen was extremely average. The restaurant was next to empty during my Sunday evening visit and service was actually slow considering we were one of the three groups of customers in the store. The sauces they use have a different flavor that what I'm used to expecting in sushi, and I didn't find it an improvement.

Sashimi Salad 3.5/5
(photo above) While this salad looks amazing in photos, the sauce they use made it taste strange. It's that golden brown sauce that used at most sushi places for salads, but the one that Sushi Zen serves is distinctly sour. Usually this sauce has a nice light flavor, Sushiful in Vancouver has an amazing one, but this one was overpowering and didn't go well at all. They give you a generous amount of sauce, so if you don't like it you can't really avoid it. The sashimi itself was great. You get 3 pieces of salmon and 2 pieces of tuna. The salmon tasted fresh and the tuna was still frozen when we got it (I suspect it's to make it easier to cut).

Los Angles Roll 3/5
This is a lot like a house roll with salmon, tuna, alvocado and tempura. The tempura was freshly made and still warm, warm enough to heat up the tuna as well. Because of the size of the roll you end up having to eat it piece by piece, its one of those rolls that fall apart as soon as you pick it up. Everything was pretty good except for the fact that they drench it in a sweet Japanese mayo. I don't understand why but out of the two rolls we ordered, both came heavily glazed with the sweet mayo sauce. The "special sauce" that came with this roll was the red sauce, it's a lot like Thai Sauce but much more spicy. After dipping it in soya sauce with a bit of wasabi, this became a really strange mixture of salty, sweet and spicy. Each of the flavors was quiet strong too. Not my kind of roll.  

Spicy Combo 3/5
Usually spicy rolls at most places aren't really spicy and they use an asian sauce that has more of a distinct flavor with a spice in it. Sushi Zen uses a sauce that's a lot more like hot sauce. And they add sweet mayo on top of that. I was pretty surprised to see our rolls with a bright red sauce, usually it wouldn't be nearly as drenched in sauce and the red sauce would be slightly clear and more gel like. Their spicy sauce is slightly bitter and is actually spicy. I love spicy dishes, but I didn't like how this tasted. It was a blend of spicy, bitter and sweet that I didn't find went well together. Not recommended. 

Bottom Line?
Sushi Zen is a cute little sushi spot out in a strip mall near Guildford. The place has a really homey feel and have friendly staff. It seems like a really nice mom and pop kind of sushi spot. I definitely wouldn't recommend their spicy rolls or "specialty sauce" unless you like hot sauce with sushi. Their prices are cheap for a dine in sushi spot but I didn't find their sushi to be anything special. The sashimi is quiet fresh so I would return for that if I was in the area. 

Sushi Zen on Urbanspoon


Cintami Andoko said...

all the food looks delicious !!
so sad that the taste doesn't come along


Kiss & Make-up said...

Oh we have a Sushi Zen closeby here! I'll have to go there sometime.

3verything Beauty said...

Food look amazing!! If anyone has time - please check and follow my blog xx

Anonymous said...

You should go the otherday. the owner is not working on sunday.

Lucas Wang said...

Obviously, you don't know why ppl like this place and the taste it offers. Me and my friends are regulars and the reason we like it the sauce they made. It's more Korean style as they say than Japanese style. If you used to the taste of typical japanese taste, maybe the place is not for you. But ppl who enjoys different tastes than other typical japanese reataurant would love this place. I think that's why they score 93percents on urbanspoon. And the main chef's name is Steve and he's only off day is Sunday. If you went sunday, you haven't taste anything yet. And you have no idea how steve and other guy works there make customers into friend easily. We fisrt went there as customers and now we are like friends. Try another time.

Melanie Pangilinan said...

The Los Angelos roll looks extremely delicious and so do the spicy ones. I love sushi so much and could practically eat it everyday!


cocoabee said...

@Cintami Andoko yeah, they do really well with presentation which is nice!

@ Kiss & Make-up It is a cool place to try out!

@Anonymous: I'll keep that in mind if I'm in the area again!

@Lucas Wang Thank you for the insight on how their establishment works! In terms of the sushi, I personally don't have a strong preference as to how sushi should taste, so I didn't dislike the rolls because they weren't Japanese style, I didn't enjoy the sauces they used so my review reflects that. I agree that they have great service! They are a very friendly restaurant.

@Melanie Pangilinan: If I could, I'd eat sushi every day as well!

Lae Soud said...

@ cocoabee if you like to taste some authentic south asain food come check out Co 2 Go @ 106 19289 langley bypass.