Zushi Puzzle– BEST. Sushi. Experience. Ever.
Head chef and owner, Roger
I can’t rave enough about Zushi Puzzle, my foodie friend C highly recommended it and was so kind to secure two seats for me at the chef’s table when I was in SF (yes, reservation is definitely necessary, and yes, you have to sit at the chefs table!) C gave me some advice before I embarked on this culinary adventure 1. Whatever Chef Roger serves, just eat it! 2. Don’t judge a book by its cover, Zushi Puzzle might looks a bit “hole in the wall”-ish but the fact that it’s fully booked all the time just goes to show how good their food has to be!
The Chef’s table has only 8 seats; Rox and I ordered the omakase (which means chef’s choice) and Roger asked us about our preferences. On hindsight I should have just said I’ll eat anything but I think I told him that I’m not a big fan of oysters. I like that he really enhanced our dining experience by tailoring his menu to our preference instead of like some other places where they just make whatever they want to serve.
We started with the best handroll which was spicy tuna, cucumber, rice, and tempura soft shell crab wrapped in a type of seaweed I’d never seen before. I typically don’t eat deep fried stuff but this handroll was delicious! The soft shell crab was crispy and crunchy without being heavy or greasy. The spicy tuna brought a kick to the roll
The thinly sliced raw scallop was tender, moist and soft; its freshness was marked by its subtle sweetness.. mmmm.. and the Salmon roe!! I was going to skip it since I thought it would be overly fishy but the sake that it was soaked in not only removed the fishiness but also added sake- sweetness to it =) Each pop was delightful!
The strong aroma of truffle oil drizzled on the thinly sliced halibut was ever so alluring
Not only was the live uni splendid in its presentation, its creamy sweetness so heavenly, so buttery, so decadent …
When Rox and I were presented with the sashimi platter we were like OMG… the platter was not only impressive, it was also A LOT of food :p Roger serves the freshest and the widest selection of sashimi, even within the common fishes we know he serves different variety of the same type of fish, he has 7 different types of salmon, 5 different types of tuna etc. Each generous cut of fish was fresh and had a firm texture. I had to get off the chair, take a walk around the restaurant (I was even contemplating walking around the block before tackling this massive dish).
Just when I though I couldn’t have anymore food, Chef Roger served us the salmon and toro remix- “remix” means seared with a blow torch
Rox: did u hear that?
V: hear what? **viv looks around, confused**
Rox: I hear angels singing
True story. Soft, smokey, melt-in- your- mouth goodness.
I knew I had said “I’m so stuffed I can’t eat anymore” several times by then but everyone has extra space for dessert right? The watermelon sorbet with tiny sprinkle of pepper was so refreshing and the wasabi cheesecake was creamy with added heat from the wasabi. I was surprised at how delicious it was
Seeing the satisfaction on our faces, Chef Roger decided to give us more surprise. He asked if we wanted lamb pop. Lamb pop? I don’t even eat lamb.. ever! For as long as I lived, I had HATED, yes, HATED lamb. “That’s coz you haven’t tried the lamb pop prepared by Chef Roger!” all the other friendly chef table’s patrons said. And there, under a bit of peer pressure and perhaps not wanting to miss out, I said yes to THE life changing lamb pop. OMG, succulent, fall- off- the bone tenderness and OH-SO- FLAVOURFUL. I’ve ordered lamb at every chance I have ever since this life changing dish but every lamb dish had fallen short when compared to Zushi Puzzle’s lamb pop.
I wanna hop on the next flight and go to SF NOW **cry**
1910 Lombard Street
Opened every evening except Sunday