West Side Japanese

Hubby and I went to Zest Restaurant to see how they stacked up against the tough Japanese cuisine in Vancouver. Self-touted as “Exquisite Modern Japanese Cuisine”, we were curious to see how they compared to our favourites Tojo’s and Miku.

We were greeted by a friendly server as we walked into the dark and inviting setting. All of the seats at the bar were full of locals chatting with Executive Chef Yoshiaki Maniwa and his staff.

Fluffy Chili Prawn – these large beer battered prawns were absolutely meaty and crispy. The spicy aioli sauce added a slight tangy kick with each bite.

Rainbow rolls – slices of tuna, salmon, hamachi, ebi, and white fish over a sushi roll stuffed with avocado, cucumber and crab. The roll was fresh but lackluster and failed to impress us.

Vegetarian Tempura – a classic staple that any decent Japanese restaurant needs to do right and this dish was quite good with the lightly-fried tempura-battered vegetables.

Mixed Mushroom Sauté - an aromatic dish with tender shiitake, enoki and oyster mushrooms in a really flavourful yuzu sauce.

Zest had a warm ambiance that made us want to stay and get comfortable. Overall the food was decent but there wasn’t any particular dish that would make us want to return.

Note to any vegetarians – be prepared for a skimpy vegetarian-friendly menu. Most of the hot dishes are cooked in a dashi broth made with meat.

2775 W 16th Avenue, Vancouver
Zest on Urbanspoon

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