Zero One Sushi used to be my go-to place for raw fish bowls. But I totally buried the restaurant in the depths of my long-term-not-to-be-recalled-easily memory ever since that first bowl of chirashi from Sushi Mart. Although the freshness of ingredients and the substantial portion size of the chirashi from Sushi Mart definitely played a part in allowing it to become my new go-to chirashi place, its proximity to my home was probably the deciding factor.
I probably would never have purchased another raw fish bowl from Zero One Sushi if my wife and I had not gone on our recent chirashi binge. As tasty as the chirashi is from Sushi Mart, having it five times in a two week span quickly makes its flavours and textures familiar…and boring.
So – as evidenced by my various Chirashi Attack! posts – we started trying out chirashi bowls from other places. Zero One Sushi was a natural choice for a revisit because we knew it served a good bowl of assorted raw fish on rice. The restaurant actually offers three different versions of chirashi: the regular chirashi don, the deluxe chirashi don (special B), and the gorgeous chirashi don (special C).
I ordered the gorgeours chirashi don while my wife ordered the deluxe chirashi don.
The only difference between the gorgeous chirashi and the deluxe chirashi was a slice (or 2?) of hamachi. This inclusion of the hamachi in the gorgeous chirashi comes at the cost of $3, which bumps up the cost of the gorgeous to a nice, round, odd number of $15. For $15, I expected to be full after finishing the bowl. I wasn’t. Not even close. The slice of albacore, slice of sockeye salmon, tiny nugget of scallop, thin piece of tamago, one shrimp, bit of tobiko/masago, and lump of red tuna probably equated to two-thirds of the amount of fish included in Sushi Mart’s $12.50 chirashi.
In terms of quality, I can confirm that every single piece of raw fish tasted fresh, and the size of the individual slices of fish were just right for one-bite enjoyment along with some rice. I thought that the size of the piece of correctly-sweetened tamago should’ve been a bit wider in circumference or thicker in girth for its spongy texture to be better enjoyed.
The single cooked shrimp was about average. It was pre-cooked, pre-peeled, and pre-cooled , which pretty much matched the state of every other piece of cooked shrimp in every other bowl of chirashi I’ve had recently.
I thought that the cheaper, possibly-pre-frozen tobiko/masago should’ve been replaced by fresh salmon roe, which I think is both more flavourful and a better textural match with the other components in the bowl.
My biggest complaint was with the lump of red tuna. From how it was listed on the menu, I expected the big eye tuna included in the chirashi bowl to be a full slice just like the full slices of the other types of fish on the same list of ingredients. But what was included in both bowls were lumps of chopped-up fish that made them feel like bits of leftover ends of the fish. The bits in the lump were too hacked-up to exhibit any of the normally enjoyable raw fish textures. The only characteristics of the red tuna I could detect were the slightly-bloody, metallic flavours of the big eye.
The two bowls of chirashi that my wife and I got from Zero One Sushi were mild disappointments. They simply could not compare to Sushi Mart’s chirashi in terms of quality, quantity, price, and overall value-for-money. Sushi Mart keeps its crown as the king of the local chirashi scene.