What was old is new again! I was one of the
earliest patrons of the first iteration of
Zipango, after it replaced the Sweetheart Indian
restaurant on Shrewsbury Street. I also became
quite disappointed as the quality of the
restaurant declined over time, while the prices
I can happily say this is no longer the case,
having finally made my way to the new and improved
Zipango's Sushi Bar and Grille. I received many
requests by email for a new review of the
establishment since it opened under new
management; the word on the street was that the
new Zipango's was not to be missed. I finally had
a chance to try it for myself on 2/5/04.
Complimentary valet parking is something that the
old restaurant desperately needed. I very
much appreciated not having to search for parking
on the frequently filled street; so kudos for the
new valet service.
The most striking difference is one of atmosphere
- the old restaurant was really more of a sports
bar than a sushi bar, and played popular and
hip-hop music... this has been replaced by a very
subdued and classy mahogany and maroon interior.
Dark stained bamboo hangs from the ceiling,
Japanese artwork adorns the walls, and smooth jazz
is quietly piped into the dining area.
The bar is transformed both in counter area and in
selection - a martini menu meets the needs of the
trendy Shrewsbury Street dining crowd, and a very,
very extensive wine menu with several dozen
varieties available by the glass. I chose a
pleasant 2002 Pinot Grigio that was very light and
just a tad crisp. I was offered a dinner menu for
eating at the bar itself; it seems that there's a
lot more seating available.
The menu now includes a selection of choices from
the grill, including some steak choices that may
give the 111 Chop House some competition! I was a
bit disappointed that there was no duck offering
on the menu even though beef, chicken and lamb
were featured. The appetizer menu and salad menus
also offer many fine looking choices.
For dinner, my friend and I ordered the maki &
sushi platter, a sashimi and sushi platter, and a
la carte tiger eye, inari, and unagi. Some
pre-dinner miso soup was quite tasty, an
appreciated holdover from the old restaurant!
Each piece of sushi was very artfully presented on
a large platter, and the quality of the fish was
very high indeed.
After dinner, we decided dessert was in order and
partook of bananas flambe and "dark side"
chocolate cake - both of which were incredibly
delicious, and actually were great to share as
they complemented each other wonderfully. A
"dessert trio" of these two with maybe a fruity
tart or mousse would be amazing!
My friend remarked that the thing he misses most
about the old Zipango is the "all you can eat"
buffet. It was a great value, even when the price
went up several times. While I wouldn't
necessarily advocate its return, I would
definitely suggest a "half price after 10pm" kind
of policy, as that would draw in a great late
night crowd. At $50 a person for excellent soup,
sushi, and dessert, I would definitely say the
value is a good one for Shrewsbury Street.