Zipango Sushi Bar

270 Shrewsbury Street
Worcester, Massachusetts




Needs Work

UPDATE: Zipango is once again downgraded since I first put this review up over a year ago. The quality of their sushi has gone downhill a bit too much, and the service is also lacking some. Seekers of sushi would be better off going to Osaka in Shrewsbury (review coming soon).

Zipango is one of my favorite places to go for sushi in this area. It's a fairly recent arrival, having taken over the space that Sweetheart once occupied on Shrewsbury Street. Eating there is occasionally a surreal experience, as I clearly remember the layout of Sweetheart - but the new decor has completely altered the inside of the eatery.

The atmosphere is a bit odd - one would expect more of a Japanese flair at a sushi bar, but Zipango abandons this concept utterly and instead attempts to capture the ambiance of a trendy New York restaurant. The music is a mix of popular and hip hop tunes, and the TVs playing sports channels in the background emphasize the "bar" part of sushi bar.

These elements aside, I have yet to have anything less than a good dining experience here. On the night of 3/6/2002, my friend and I were given complimentary miso soup as soon as we sat down. The soup was very flavorful - but not vegetarian! So veggies beware there.

The shrimp dumpling appetizer was tangy and delightful, though a bit hot in temperature having been immediately rushed to our table after cooking. For dinner, my friend ordered several maki, and I - feeling very hungry - decided to order the Sushi Boat II to get a variety of fish and rolls.

Surprisingly, the sushi came to our table very quickly - it surely wasn't a busy night as it was early in the week, but with only one sushi chef preparing that evening, it was amazing to get the food so fast. The Sushi Boat II is quite large, and despite overwhelming hunger I was not able to finish all of it - even with the help of my friend. I opted to eat only the fish and leave the rice!

Other maki we had ordered separately (we just had to have it) included the Screaming Yellowtail and the Tiger Eye. Tiger Eye is a perennial favorite, and can't be found in other nearby sushi restaurants.

The downside of this review is that Zipango is quite a bit pricier than it should be - this keeps me from otherwise frequenting the restaurant. Which is really too bad, as the quality is consistently high and the presentation is very good. The prohibitive prices are the only thing that keep Zipango from being a "Great" restaurant.

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