The Hype about Sushi Zanmai

  • SumoMe

Whenever I go to One Utama (1 U), I would notice a long queue of people outside Sushi Zanmai Japanese restaurant. And I would think to myself, one day I must try at this place to understand what the hype was about. And finally, one day, after many months, Saucer and I decided to join in the queue for dinner. It seems to me that Sushi Zanmai at 1U is forever crowded! So after patiently waiting for about 10 minutes, we got our table by the kaiten belt.


The napkins

We were tempted to order some sushi from the belt, considering they’re sushi experts, but no we didn’t. The sushi plates moving on those belt were not attractive looking at all. They were poorly presented, some with residues at the side of the plate, and many with covers which were reused for the thousandth time. Truly, not a very appetizing sight, so we resorted to ordering from the menu instead.


Sushi Zanmai

I saw the Soft Shell Crab Maki and knew I simply had to order it because I love soft shell crab! Also, the presentation on the menu looked pretty, with 6 pieces to boot! Value for money indeed! And thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. The deep fried soft shell crab was still warm and crispy, with generous amount of meat in each roll. I have had experience with soft shell crab that was cold and tough, so thankfully Sushi Zanmai did this right. At RM6.80, this was definitely better value than any of those from the sushi belt.


Soft Shell Crab Maki (RM6.80)

For something more solid, I ordered the Yakiniku Don or rice with beef fillet. The small portion was actually pretty sizable for me, plenty of rice with thinly sliced beef. The beef was done just right, without being gamey but the sauce was not as flavourful.


Yakiniku Don (RM10.80 – small)


Thinly sliced beef

Saucer had the Unatama Don, which was rice with eel and egg on top. He also had the small portion, which came with several pieces of unagi. My first impression was that the rice was too dry. There wasn’t enough gravy to go around, and the gravy was similarly bland. In fact, I think his rice tasted more bland than mine, such that he had to add some shoyu and sweet sauce to make it edible. Plus, the unagi was not even fresh in the first place.


Unatama Don (RM15.80 – small)

The unagi was quite firm and rubbery in texture, much like eating fish cake. Perhaps some people might enjoy it but it’s just weird to me. I definitely think that Sakae Sushi does it so much better when it comes to Don.


Rubbery and firm unagi

At the end of the meal, we found that the queue was still there outside the restaurant! Other than the crab maki, I don’t think I would queue for this place again.


Sushi Zanmai 1 Utama

Sushi Zanmai
SK 9A, 2nd Floor, High Street,
1 Utama Shopping Centre (New Wing)
Bandar Utama, Selangor,
Contact No : +603-7724 2030 / +6012-771 2030
Business Hours: Sun-Thurs 10.00 am – 10.00 pm & Fri-Sat 10.00 am – 10.30 pm

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  1. Wai Mun says

    I tried The Gardens Sushi Zanmai before. WIll never step into any shop which bears this name. Awful. Not nice :( The only upside is the price.

  2. says

    i guess all the branches are crowded during dinner, same thing at Gardens.. i’ve actually been there twice, quite ok but i won’t purposely queue and waste my time waiting.. i usually prefer going to Pasta Zanmai instead, love the pasta and pizza there.. :)

    • says

      Well the thing is even after the long queue, I don’t think the food was THAT great. Maybe I should have tried more sushi and maki instead. Or I could try Pasta Zanmai next time to compare :)

  3. KC says

    Sushi Zanmai’s quality has slightly dropped…I used to like the food here…maybe due to too many branches being opened…

    Nowadays, I go to Sushi Tei @ Tropicana City Mall…quality and service is better…

    Or you can try Umai-ya @ IOI Boulevard Puchong…hehe…

  4. says

    i advise you to order sushi, most of their sushi were nice as compared to sushi king. in fact is good because most of their items are cheaper as compared to the same range restaurants. of course, I agree that it’s only the “fast food” type of Japanese food served, surely can;t compare with the fine dining type….this is my personal opinion

  5. says

    Just been to The Garden franchise on last Saturday. The food was average, but the ambiance are mediocre. Very hot & crowded.. they shud have improve their ventilation.LOL

  6. says

    There were actually some good finds at Sushi Zanmai. One example being the beef salad with their signature dressing (forgot which, this was about a year ago). The sushi rolls are certainly much much better than Sushi king, Genki, and Sakae.
    But of course, there were misses as well. Can’t really hope for the best when dining in a Jap kaiten belt outlet.
    Sushi Tei is good, but I have only been there once, hence can’t judge.

    • says

      I have to agree the sushi rolls are good, but I guess for the other dishes, I’ve tasted better. I just don’t understand why so many people queue up when the good was not fantastic…

  7. says

    I had the same thought as you. Always seeing the long queue and wonder to myself is it really that good and that i should try it out one day.

    Looks like I’ll most prob give this place a miss since I don’t want to be queing for ages.

    • says

      Yea man.. don’t know why there’s always a line outside. I wonder if it’s because of the name or really because of good food. Don’t think I would wanna queue again…

  8. says

    Normally we also have the unagi rice…but seems to be ok each time we had. Yes, order the sushi is so much yummier and presentable than the belt one.

  9. says

    I like Sushi Zanmai. But I find that when I go during peak times, the stuff I usually order is of lousier quality than when I visit during non-peak periods. Maybe branches matter too. The one in Sunway Pyramid is quite consistent with their quality. :)

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