Zen Japanese Restaurant

Shop 2, 1 Seddon St, Subiaco
Tel: 9381 4931

Weeknights in Perth for dining are relatively quiet. To my surprise as I journeyed towards my destination of Zen Japanese Restaurant I found Subiaco to be bustling with people. As I travelled along Hay St, there was a huge group of people waiting outside to attend a function (it appeared to be a newish upmarket sort of wine bar), whilst across the road people were darting into the Regal Theatre to catch a show. It also appeared to be a pretty busy night for dining at the Fantastico Restaurant on Rokeby. The Wilson carpark adjoining the Subiaco markets was nearly full and Subiaco seemed to be happening this particular night.

I entered the Zen Restaurant and was seated reasonably promptly. This particular restaurant premises brings back fond memories of the times when I used to frequent it as the Sado Restaurant. The Sado Restaurant relocated to Stirling Highway in Claremont some years ago. Whilst waiting for my 2 friends, I perused the menu and observed that the restaurant was nearly full house.

"Zen" has a great choice of items on its menu. Sushi prices range from $4 for an omelette sushi to a "Zen sushi" (deluxe assorted sushi) at $27. Entrees range from $3.80 to $12 with offers of chawanmushi (steamed custard eggs with seafood), gyoza (dumplings), various grilled seafood items and skewered meats to tempt you. Mains range from around $12.50 (for blackboard specials such as the pork schnitzel with salad) up to $38 for the B course set menu which has 8 courses.

We all decided to order the A course set menu for $27. This set menu was great value and offers a great opportunity to sample a range of food. The menu includes a choice of sushi (California roll or tuna roll), tempura, a choice of teriyaki chicken, panfried fish in teriyaki sauce or grilled fish (for the grilled fish option you can select either mackerel or pacific saury or salmon).

We had a late dinner and I was feeling very hungry (nothing new here!) The kitchen is open concept and I observed that it was full steam ahead as the waitress conveyed orders to the chef. We sipped green tea whilst we waited for our dinner. By now the restaurant was at full capacity will all tables occupied. I noticed that there were many Japanese patrons at Zen that night which is always a reassuring sign.

The tempura was the first dish to be served to us. The tempura (mixture of seafood and vegetable deep fried in light batter) was sizable with 2 prawns, fish, and a range of vegetables including zucchini, green beans, sweet potato, and mushrooms.

I sampled my friend's california roll (prawn, avocado, cucumber) which was outstanding. The tuna roll that I had ordered was also nice. The miso soup served was piping hot when I opened the lid to sip some of the soup. By that time, our main course of fish or chicken was also served. I found the grilled salmon to be delicious and flavoursome.

We concluded our meal with a choice of either green tea ice cream or sesame and vanilla with red bean icecream. My green tea icecream had a full flavour. Some of the packet mix green tea icecream which some restaurants serve does not hit the mark as well as the homemade stuff. Zen's green tea ice cream passed the test.

All in all, it was a great night out catching up with friends over a fantastic meal. For the quality of the food served, the prices are quite reasonable. We all agreed that the set menu was great value and pretty substantial. The restaurant is of a high standard, has a nice ambience and friendly staff. I will be back!


Rating: 8.5 out of 10.


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