Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Sushi Zanmai - Worth the Queue?


Every time I walk past Sushi Zanmai@1 Utama, there is always a long queue which explains why I never got a chance to dine there. So when Sushi Zanmai came to The Starling, I was quite pleased.

There were no queues (at least during the times I walked past) but ironically I never got round to visiting. Until late afternoon one day when I walked in on my own.

It was past 3pm but there were 3 or 4 tables occupied. The wait staff (3 or 4 of them) saw me (customers have to wait to be seated) but I was virtually ignored until one of them seated me.

After browsing the menu and ready to order, I tried to catch the attention of the wait staff. Again, I was as good as invisible to the lot of them. Feeling disgusted, I walked out.

Fast forward many weeks later, my brother wanted to visit Sushi Zanmai and I agreed. Though I was put off earlier, I obliged since it was an opportunity to satisfy my curiosity about the food.


It was around 6pm, so this was an early dinner for us. We were seated near the conveyor belts which reminded me of Sushi King which I have stopped visiting for many years.

While waiting for our order, we tried two items from the conveyor belt.


I'm sorry I don't know the name. I think it was those stuffed beancurd skin.


This one had raw salmon and the sushi broke apart quite easily :(


We ordered the Mentaiko Spider Roll (front) and Salmon Mentai Roll (back). These came via this train-like thing which runs on the tracks above the conveyor belt. The lights will flash and a disembodied voice will yell tell you to "please take your food".


Earlier one zoomed by and before we could react, it ran away.


That's my bro pointing at the "runaway train".


We also got ourselves an Okonomiyaki, some sort of pancake which we have never had before. It was just all right to me, though we liked the crispy toppings.


We also ordered my brother's favorite Temaki and though we ordered two, only one came followed by the other a bit later.


I'm afraid this was not good because the seaweed was already soft and chewy (instead of crispy) when it reached our table (same for the second one). My brother lamented that "Connie's (of Hokano) is better". 

Then we realized that one order was missing and reminded the wait staff. Shortly after that, this thing arrived.


Uiks! That's not what we ordered but since service was rather slow, we decided just to take it but luckily we did not dig in so soon. The server who took our order came by to check and she realized that it was the wrong order and took it back with apologies.


Ah! That's what we ordered. It was on the chewy side, overcooked, I suspect.


I would say that we were underwhelmed by our dinner. Nothing wowed us. My brother asked me if I would return and I told him no. If we want Japanese food at The Starling, we should go to Rakuzen. But at least we tried.

30 comments:

  1. Been to Sushi Zanmai twice in their Kuching outlet. Both time the service was alright. Business is good over here and mostly long queue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still a favorite for many people.

      Delete
  2. I must WhatsApp Mama Kucing liao, ask her to bring me to The Starling, and then wait for PH to turn up there, and yeah, I bump into PH... Lol...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to eat at Sushi Zanmai at 1-Mont Kiara as their service and food quality was superb. Their customers consisted of many Japanese expatriates in that area. No wonder lah!
    I agree that Rakuzhen should be better and the queue used to be longer. Remember that leng zhai manager that wowed all the old aunties who gave their broadest smiles to him. You were there what!...

    If you ever visit Japan, you must eat the best Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima which I had blogged before. Seems like most Japanese sports celebrities loved the authentic Okonomiyaki there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I don't remember any lengchai manager. Maybe your taste and my taste not the same LOL!

      Delete
  4. I have not been to Sushi Zanmai in 1u for a long time now. Sushi Zanmai in the Starling Mall is our frequent lunch place to go and that is because we only order some fixed items like cucumber maki, potato salad, chawan mushi, edamame which are all "safe" items - items that should not go wrong. I agree that Rakuzan at Starling is a better choice for their affordable lunch sets. I just had their salmon shioyaki set lunch yesterday at RM30 nett with free flow of hot ocha. Really worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should go to Rakuzen for my lunch some time. Haven't been there for a while now.

      Delete
  5. The last time I've been to a Sushi Zanmai outlet was probably more than 3 years ago. I suppose we can't expect too much from conveyor belt sushi chains though this one is probably still better than say Sushi King, Sushi Mentai or Sakae Sushi. For some reason, I don't like that the mentaiko here is very pale (like white, not orange) in colour, laden with more mayo than spicy cod roe, I think. I've never seen a 'sushi train' before...let alone a 'runaway' one...wakakakaka! :D They can't even send special sushi rolls to your table! Ish!! >_< This will make their workers very lazy...no wonder no-one wanted to serve and attend to you in your earlier visit. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to agree with you as the mentaiko did not taste like much here. I remember being wowed by the one at Rakuzen. I think that sushi train thing is quite annoying with that loud voice to "please take your food". I still prefer for the food to be served by the server.

      Delete
  6. I guess this is a franchise. Does not look impressive, unlike many full-fledged Japanese joints.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty much a generic run of the mill Japanese restaurant. So can't expect much.

      Delete
  7. Adui...

    I haven't been to.Sushi Zanmai in ages.
    Actually, wasn't really a huge fan of the franchise too.

    Come, let's makan at miyagi. 😝

    ReplyDelete
  8. terrible service! I wouldn't want to go there if the services are so lousy and yet still charge us for that 10%. Anyway, I have been to Sushi Zanmai (alone) at The Gardens, and the services was fine. All my previous visits at The Gardens, IOI mall & IOI City so far OK, so I tink The Starling is an exceptional case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad that you had a good experience at the other outlets. Perhaps I caught them on a bad day.

      Delete
  9. Great pick, dear! Love anything with Mentaiko! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  10. that's true - between rakuzen and sushi zanmai, i guess my bet would be on rakuzen too! but i guess there'll always be a market in kl for no-frills conveyor-belt sushi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I can see that Sushi King is still quite popular.

      Delete
  11. Gosh, how frustrating. Sorry this place wasn't up to snuff! At least you'll never have to wait in line to get in :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anything with mentai is nice

    ReplyDelete
  13. Actually I also scratch head why the 1U outlet is thronged by massive crowd =.="
    I prefer pasta zanmai over sushi zanmai anytime because I like their fusion pizza with crispy base :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must go and try pasta zanmai next since got pizza!

      Delete
  14. I would skip everything and head for the Spider Rolls, which is my all time favorite, and Spicy Tuna Rolls which they make it so well right here in the U.S.
    Another great restaurant review, Phong Hong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favorite are the rolls. Oh yes, spicy tuna rolls are also a favorite of mine. A family run restaurant near my office which unfortunately closed down, had one of the best spicy tuna rolls I tasted.

      Delete
  15. I wonder how is the taste of the Japanese pizza. Have eaten Japanese food for a long time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's actually a pancake. Not really outstanding if you ask me.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...