The sushi at Zen is amazing. There are no two ways about it. I’ve been there like 6 or 8 times and only once has a roll disappointed me flavor-wise. I like my sushi rolls to have a little bit of crunch to them, whether it be from tempura flakes, cucumbers, fruit, etc. The Sweetie roll, although described as containing “spicy crunchy tuna” was not crunchy at all. It tasted fine (if you like tuna, which I do), but I just didn’t like the lack of crunch. Although, the roll itself was very pretty.
The rolls at Zen are all very pretty. They like to use different color soy papers instead of the standard black seaweed, so the different rolls are different colors. They’re all about presentation. My favorites are the King’s Speech, the Paradise Roll, and the Holy Moly. My dad is obsessed with the King’s Speech. He didn’t even like sushi before we came to Zen, and now he’s a sushi addict.
The King’s Speech is tempura shrimp and green apple wrapped in Soy Paper, topped with king crab salad and red tobiko. The sauces are really delicious, too. They’re all different colors. One of them is a light green wasabi with honey, one is a mango sauce, and one is an eel sauce. They complement the sushi roll perfectly. The Paradise roll is unlike any roll I’ve ever eaten anywhere else. It’s a spicy lobster salad, shrimp tempura, and banana tempura wrapped in soybean paper and topped with a mango sauce. It’s the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, salty, and banana. I can’t even describe the flavor, you just need to try it. The Holy Moly roll is tuna, crab, avocado and greens, rolled in seaweed and deep fried. It’s served still warm, and crunchy on the outside with a creamy garlic sauce. This is one of my mom’s favorites.
Also, if you go, you need to get the Tuna-tini appetizer. It’s amazing. Becca and I ate one apiece when we went there. It’s basically tuna and crunch and crab salad with ponzu sauce and and seaweed. But it’s so delicious and flavorful and I could eat 10 by myself. It’s so good. So good, in fact, Becca and I are going to go eat there tonight! (all this talk about sushi has got me craving it, and the hot pocket I had for lunch just isn’t cutting it). The service has also been really good every time I’ve been there. The waiters and waitresses are attentive, courteous, and personable. The atmosphere is really nice, as well. It feels very asian inside, with a lot of dark wood and gold accents. It’s very classy.
The Thai food from Zen isn’t very good. I got the pad Thai one of the first times I went there, and I could barely finish it. They added something to the sauce, something smoky that rendered it almost inedible for me. And if you know me, you know that something has to be really terrible in order for me to not eat it. I’ve never had any of their Chinese food, or any of the other Asian food they serve, so I can’t speak to how well they do in that aspect. I will say, however, that the sushi is AMAZING (in case you haven’t gotten that from my earlier ravings).
Zen Asian Fusion
2037 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29407-4601