Zen – Schenectady, NY

Before I caught a movie at Proctors, Cassie and I checked out Zen, which is right across the street. I’ve walked by a number of times and noticed people always dining on their patio (sidewalk), and it always seems busy.

Zen lounge

Zen menu

The menu has sushi and sashimi but also lists some interesting sounding Thai inspired dishes. That evening, I was in the mood for sashimi.

Appetizers

Sushi or sashimi

As part of my sashimi deluxe ($19), miso soup and ginger salad were served. Neither stood out as extraordinary.

Miso Soup

Ginger salad

As a starter, I decided on the Trifecta (Gyoza, harumaki and spicy crunchy shrimp – $9).

Trifecta

For the price, this was a very good deal. I’m talking from purely a value standpoint. Everything on the plate was good, but it’s the fact that there was a lot of it that makes me say this was worth it. This could easily be shared between two or three people.

Spicy Crunchy Shrimp served with spicy mayo
Spicy Crunchy Shrimp served with spicy mayo
Gyoza
Gyoza – pan seared pork dumplings
Harumaki - Crispy vegetable roll
Harumaki – Crispy vegetable roll

It took a fair amount of time my sashimi platter to arrive, which was odd considering we were one of three tables dining at that time.

Sashimi deluxe

When it did arrive, I was glad I ordered the deluxe portion with 18 pieces over the regular (13 pieces). While the right number of pieces were on the plate, many of the pieces were much smaller than the pieces at other sushi joints in the region.

Sashimi deluxe

The taste of the fish wasn’t particularly noteworthy other than the fact that I very much enjoyed the salmon, a fish I generally don’t like sashimi style. The presentation was very nice and fit into the trendy look of the interior.

Cassie ordered a few rolls, and I tried a bite. Aside from being overcooked, the rice was very sweet, and that threw the whole balance of the sushi roll off balance.

There are a number of flashy drinks on the bar menu; it seems like they’re going more for the happy hour vibe than serious dining. That said, this place is a formidable spot for gathering with a bunch of friends, splitting some appetizers, and having some drinks. Although, it would probably be wise to update the music selection; I recognized at least three tracks from Pure Moods.


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3 thoughts on “Zen – Schenectady, NY

  • Mike

    Enjoyed the great pix and review. It’s hard to judge a place by what people say about it and the size of the crowd. Most people don’t cook or have never had fine cuisine and have no standard to judge by. I like your reviews because you point out where you’ve had a better version…also the fact you had to wait while the restaurant wasn’t crowded…sounds like a kitchen smoke break…


  • Scott C.

    My co-workers and I eat there at least once a week for lunch. Their $8 Bento boxes are pretty decent; I usually order between the teriyaki, tempura, or sashimi.



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