You could be forgiven for walking right past Sushi Zero One and missing it completely. Its storefront is nondescript. Its interior isn’t particularly attractive. But then there’s the food, which is a different matter all together.
I visited Sushi Zero One a few weeks ago after hearing it had a good reputation for solid sushi. Unlike many reviews I have read, I wasn’t particularly put off by the unimpressive interior. The restaurant is unpretentious and, in my opinion, should be seen more as a take out place rather than a sit down restaurant. I used to work at a similar place in Montreal – Sushi Volant – back when it was run by the beloved “Tobi-san”. Despite its interior, Sushi Volant had a well deserved reputation for serving up some of the best (if not the best) sushi in Montreal. So it was with a nostalgic, wistful understanding that I approached Zushi Zero One.
We ordered a sushi combo and chirashi sushi. The sushi combo was unceremoniously served on a paper plate (pictured on the right) which frankly detracted from the entire experience, but the quality of the ingredients more than made up for it. The fish was very fresh and tasty. The rice was also wonderfully seasoned and texturally pleasant. The selection was also something to behold for a combination of food that clocks in just over $10. Ordinarily, I find it difficult to eat nothing but sushi for dinner (I crave greater variety) but this was different.
The chirashi don was similarly successful. The rice was just as lovely as in the sushi, but this dish featured delicious salmon roe (ikura) that exploded in your mouth. The generous slices of fish and other seafood that adorned the chirashi sushi smelled of the sea and was buttery. I also appreciated the daikon leaves/sprouts that added a hint of pepper to the dish. Though it is by no means high cuisine, this dish satisfies and is relatively good value at about $10 before taxes.
Though this is not a place you would go to eat at for a first date, it is potentially one you’d get takeout from for a third date (if you know what I mean…). It’s also the best sushi I’ve had in downtown Vancouver to date.