HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >

Need Help, Going To ZEN For Dinner With Group Of 4

Porto Jun 29, 2011 07:57 AM

Hi Chows,
4 of us are going to dinner at Zen this week and first time for all.
First time Sushi for one and one other will primarily focus on cooked foods.

Couple of questions,
Is the Omakase large enough & filling for one or two, my friends like a fair amount of food might it be better to order a sushi preset selection of 14 pcs and add a la carte.

Secondly, what would be Zen's better offerings in the appetizer and cooked dishes selections.

I appreciate all your help with any suggestions.
Thank you,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    JennaBean RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 08:11 AM

    Omakasa isn't really something that you split or share so to speak as it is usually given to the customer piece by piece.

    1. jlunar RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 08:28 AM

      Think of Omakase as a chef's tasting menu. It's a per-person fee and everyone is served their own meal "set."

      1. skylineR33 RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 08:40 AM

        Oh yes, you can share the sushi and sashimi omakase at Zen. If you do not want to sit at the bar, the omakase will be presented to your table with a plate of sushi or a plate of sashimi, depending on what you order. So you can share. Even at the counter, you can order 1 omakase to be shared by 2 people and then order some cooked food to share as well, in this way the omakase will be present to you in one single plate. I do recommend you "not" to sit at the bar though if you intend to share, it is more convenient to do so when you sit at the table.

        I have experienced sushi not presented to me piece by piece even if I sit at the bar on a very busy night, just a heads up.

        11 Replies
        1. re: skylineR33
          JennaBean RE: skylineR33 Jun 29, 2011 08:44 AM

          I've never shared an omakase dinner anywhere! Wow. I'm really surprised they do that as it is usually a per person charge as per jlunar!

          1. re: JennaBean
            skylineR33 RE: JennaBean Jun 29, 2011 08:55 AM

            Don't want to get into the definition of Omakase as there are long long thread about it before ... but basically it means "Chef's Choice", it does not really mean it cannot be shared, different restaurant do it differently.

            1. re: skylineR33
              JennaBean RE: skylineR33 Jun 29, 2011 08:59 AM

              But how do they charge you? Is there still a per person charge but a smaller one?

              1. re: JennaBean
                skylineR33 RE: JennaBean Jun 29, 2011 09:08 AM

                Just think about the Sushi Omakase or the Sashimi Omakase as a regular item on the menu at Zen. It says the portion is good enough for 1 person. It is $50 each. You order 1, you pay $50, you order 2, you pay $100 ... etc.

                1. re: skylineR33
                  JennaBean RE: skylineR33 Jun 29, 2011 09:55 AM

                  Good to know! Thank you!!! I will do this for sure in the future.

            2. re: JennaBean
              Porto RE: JennaBean Jun 29, 2011 09:04 AM

              Thanks SkylineR33 on the sharing option, we will certainly sit at a table.
              As for the cooked dishes or appetizers, any specific selections.

              1. re: Porto
                skylineR33 RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 09:10 AM

                Maybe tempura, grilled black cod .. their cooked food is decent, but I have not found any really stand-out dish. I particularly like their home-made dessert Mandarin cake.

                1. re: skylineR33
                  TexSquared RE: skylineR33 Jun 29, 2011 09:48 AM

                  For dessert, highly recommend the black sesame ice cream!

                  1. re: TexSquared
                    bryanayrb RE: TexSquared Jun 29, 2011 09:51 AM

                    disagree on the black sesame ice cream ever since they switched suppliers. the new one is just plain black sesame ice cream... not as intense as the one they had last year.

                    recommend their tempura, cod, hamachi neck & the mandarin orange pie is a must.

                    1. re: bryanayrb
                      Googs RE: bryanayrb Jun 29, 2011 05:14 PM

                      That mandarin pie is a hoot.

                2. re: Porto
                  TorontoJo RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 12:25 PM

                  I recall a butter and soy grilled shiitake mushroom app that was delicious.

            3. GoodGravy RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 12:32 PM

              What I remember about Zen was the kick from the wasabi. They punch it up rather than give you wasabi to mix in w/ soy sauce. If that's not to your liking, you might want to ask them to tone it down.

              1. Googs RE: Porto Jun 29, 2011 05:13 PM

                Though the chef's plate is a fairly healthy amount of sushi, I usually share an appetizer between two people. After the meal, I pick out the best piece of nigiri I've had that night and ask for another round. That usually does it.

                The cooked anagi is good for an app. I've also enjoyed the mountain potato porridge I think it's called, but it's definitely not for everyone.

                Do the chef's plate as opposed to the stock sushi dinner if you appreciate fine sushi. You'll find more adventerous selections on your plate.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Googs
                  Porto RE: Googs Jun 29, 2011 06:30 PM

                  Thank you for the great feedbck, I'm certain the Omakase is the way to go and looking to have the cod and mandarin orange pie.
                  Looking forward to an amazing meal.

                Show Hidden Posts