Many Muslim sushi-lovers have difficulty finding an authentic halal sushi restaurant that provides excellent quality and service. Most sushi restaurants serve alcohol or offer non-Zabiha meat dishes. The owners of Zem One recognized the demand to serve halal sushi and took this opportunity to open their first location in the heart of Mississauga around two years ago.
Serving a variety of Japanese, Thai and other far eastern cuisine, Zem One attempts to make sure you find something you enjoy on their menu! Upon arrival at the restaurant, I was delighted to see the Zabiha Halal sign on the front door, which is known to put hearts at ease in the Muslim community. After settling in, I got a chance to speak to the Assistant Manager, Kyle Nixon. I was impressed to find out that Zem One uses only wild caught fish and actually filet the fish themselves. “Having extremely fresh fish makes us unique, which is reflected in our taste,” Mr. Nixon says.
Excited to try the fresh caught fish, I was disappointed by the wait. The server took quite some time to take our order. They seemed to be understaffed with only one main server, and the service was a bit slow. I was with a few friends and we decided to go with the dinner buffet, priced at $21.99 each.
Chopsticks Up! I began with a fresh and palette cleansing seaweed salad as well as satay chicken served with an interesting peanut sauce that gave it quite a kick! After a long day, our group was quite hungry. We ordered a combination of Classic and Special Rolls, namely the Spicy Salmon, Avocado, Spicy Dynamite, Double Shrimp Tempura, Red Devil, and Green Dragon rolls. For variety, we ordered General Tao Chicken and Dry Chili Beef as well.
The restaurant’s ambience was great! Although quite small, the setting was relaxing with dim lights, nice décor and an overall welcoming atmosphere. At the table next to us, two coworkers had a laptop out and were apparently discussing business. On the other end of the restaurant was a family dining out, so it’s an environment for everyone. The chef wears a traditional Japanese chef’s jacket and hat, which added to the overall ambience of receiving an authentic sushi experience.
Once the food arrived, the server was engaging and answered any questions we had about our orders, which was both informative and convenient.
The sushi tasted above average! After tasting a few dishes, it was evident that Zem One specializes in sushi. However, the non-Japanese dishes were not up to par. For dessert we ordered fried bananas with coconut ice cream, which was a refreshing end to an appetizing meal. A few times during the course of the night, our server stopped by to ensure things were going well, which was a personal and welcoming touch to our dining experience. Service improved as the number of customers decreased.
Overall, Zem One is a great restaurant that serves quality sushi. In my interview with Mr. Nixon he explained how they have plans to renovate the restaurant to give an even more welcoming and comfortable ambience. He also told me that they deliver to anywhere in Mississauga and offer 20% off on orders more than $40! So, if you like sushi that’s halal, and which uses the freshest ingredients, stop by Zem One, or place an order on the phone to satisfy your cravings!
Personally, I’d definitely go back to Zem One for some good sushi, and a great halal place to dine!