Whenever my mom gets to pick a cuisine, you can bet your bottom dollar it’s going to be sushi. So for her birthday, we headed to Zama. If you’ve ever been to Zama, or even walked past it, you know how cool it looks on the inside. The main theme seems to be wooden slats. And there are light-colored wooden slats everywhere. It’s pretty sweet. We were actually seated all the way in the back in an adorable room, with lots of amazing japanese textiles depicting various creatures from the sea. I want them for my house!
I’m in love with agedashih tofu, so of course, I ordered it. When it came out, we were all confused. Having it come out like this is pretty and all, but there was only a bit of sauce in a tiny bowl and it just wasn’t enough. And I feel like part of what makes agedashi tofu so good is having the tofu pieces kind of soaking in the sauce. It’s not a dipping sauce, it’s more like a bath, and I feel like it comes like that in all other restaurants for a purpose. A delicious purpose. If presented normally, I would have been able to enjoy it more.
The fried eggplant with ground chicken sautéed in white miso. Ooh baby. This was clearly the best dish of the evening. Super savory chicken topped on soft scoopable eggplant, garnished with pickled cucumber. I should have gotten this as my entree! It would have been great with some steamed rice.
My mom and M both got sushi combos, of course! Here’s where things start to go downhill. They both enjoyed their sushi, but they found some pieces of sushi were served on top of dried and crunchy rice, as if they had been refrigerated, or had been sitting around for a long time. Considering the price points at this restaurant, it was beyond disappointing. Going to Zama and expecting some of the best sushi in the city, and ending up with sushi rice akin to refrigerated supermarket sushi, was beyond sad. It was very early in the evening, but there was no excuse for it at all. Just none.
I got the Hamachi Tataki, which was seared hamachi over crispy a tempura battered avocado roll with a red yuzu pepper sauce. This was amazingly delicious, in every way, but so teeny tiny. I expected small portions here, but I didn’t necessarily expect this small.
Overall, the sushi as disappointing, but the rest of the food was good. The service was ok. We ordered a miso soup, but it never came out. And even when we asked about it again, it still didn’t come out. At that point, M didn’t want the soup anymore, so it didn’t matter. But still, it was a bad oversight. With the plethora of sushi options in the city, I doubt that we’ll ever be visiting Zama again. Rittenhouse setting, Rittenhouse prices, with supermarket sushi.