Dearest Shizusan people,
If you are reading this, please adopt me. Please.
Not because my family isn't great, but because I have an unhealthy obsession with your restaurant.
It would be quite a good idea, I promise, since I'm there like half the days of the month, anyway. It would be a not-so-good idea to make me a taste tester, because I'll have a very full stomach, and you'll have nothing left to sell.
If you haven't already guessed, today I will be reviewing my experience at my absolute favourite restaurant (and my mom's) in this entire world, Shizusan – The Asian Bistro, at Phoenix Marketcity.
No long intros today, this post is going to be way too long as it is 🙂 .
Ambience and Setting
The place speaks of class and fine dining, without being too formal and old-people-ish (though it's perfect for them too!).
I especially love the brown tables and chairs, with the black plates, and the nice greenery scattered here and there around the restaurant. The décor is so subtle and beautiful, and the tables are arranged in a very nice manner, such that they are private but not isolated. One thing that stands out to me, and I cannot help but appreciate it every time, is the little bucket they have on the corner of each table. The bucket has fresh cutlery, pairs of chopsticks encased in a little paper wrapper, and everything a customer would need to eat their meal. I like this because it makes it easy to help yourself and you don't need to bother the staff if you want a new fork. Every table also has a bottle of Soy and Sweet Chilli sauce (I believe, we don't usually pay attention to anything except the soy). Shizusan makes your dining experience very homely and fun, and they start with their placemats! See for yourself:
Lastly, they offer not only indoor, but outdoor seating too! We love both.
- Menu and Choices
I don't usually include a 'menu' section when I review eateries, but I really felt the need to here. Yet another amazing and unique thing about Shizu is the layout of the menu. 'Shizusan' loosely translates to 'a collector of maps', which is fitting, because the entire menu is told in the form of a travel diary! Each section represents a new cuisine, like Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, etc, and it also represents a new part of the character's journey. There are cute little notes from our traveller included on the pages of the diary/menu. So fun. Now let us talk about the menu itself. See, if you're looking for some Murg Mussalam, then you won't find it here. I mean, this isn't Zeera. What you WILL find, is the best selection and greatest quality of Oriental food out there. I cannot think of one thing these guys don't cover, from Pho and Laksa to Cashew Nut Chicken, Dimsums and Nigiri, it's really the best Southeast Asian food you could eat. The drinks are great too (though it's my family who tries new drinks, I go for a simple Coke and turn my attention to the Sushi)!
See, my mom and I usually go for the safe torched fish, although I am the more daring one and like raw fish too. But even I have limits, and this sushi tore them down in the best way. The Spicy Crunchy Tuna roll made me looooove raw fish. I won't deny that the flavour is strong, because come on, it's Tuna, but it was delish! The spicy chilli mayo and crunchy cucumber were tastyyyyy!
This was the first thing we ever ate at Shizu. Between my mom and I alone, we usually go through at least five rolls of our favourite, the classic Dynamite Shrimp. Aptly named, there will be an explosion of flavours in your mouth as you savour the Sriracha mayonnaise and perfectly cooked tempura shrimp. I'm crying just looking at this picture.
Off the Travelling Sushi Festival menu I mentioned above, this one was my choice, and a good one, too! Peking Duck sushi was kinda unheard of, but YUMMMMMMMM. Please make this part of your set menu. I like these birds much more when you cook them, than when they're going 'quack'.
This visit was full of firsts! Going with my cousin, aunt and uncle, was awesome because my uncle convinced us to try a lot of new things. This Assorted Nigiri Platter is ALL THINGS GOOD IN LIFE, I kid you not. As I mentioned before, my mom turns down anything that has that characteristic raw fish taste and/or smell, but she too enjoyed this thoroughly! All three (the Salmon, Hamachi, and Tuna) were impeccably torched, not too much and not too less, and what a treat it was. Simply delicious, and how superb is the presentation, just like everything else they serve!
Another one off the Travelling Sushi Festival menu, the Jamaican roll was something entirely new. Hats off to Shizu for venturing out with their options, and doing it so well. Crayfish tempura, jerk mayo, agave rice and activated charcoal certainly make this one stand out. Although it wasn't bad, the flavour of the jerk was too overpowering and the agave rice was a little firm, it had too much of a 'bite'. This one just wasn't for us, but hey, we still finished it.
Not only is the food out of this world, but the staff are mind blowingly nice too. Since we are pretty much residents (10000 steps above regulars) at Shizu, they offered to treat us to an off-the-menu sushi called the Alaskan! I know, in the picture, it looks like a pile of goo, but oh lord was it YUMMY. With adorable little pieces of sushi stacked on top of each other, creamy sauces, perfectly cooked crab meat, and cute, crunchy fish eggs on the top, what a real showstopper! I'll be talking more about the amazing service soon, so stay tuned!
Have you seen anything prettier? And no, you can't say things like "Yeah, the Eiffel Tower". That's cheating. Anyway, this beautiful Rainbow Maki had Tuna, Salmon and Avocado on the top which gave the beautiful rainbow effect, and crab stick inside! It was good, but not as addictive as the others 🙂 . Fun fact, the fish eggs I mentioned in the Alaskan (the little green and orange dots) are called 'Tobiko', which is the Japanese word for the roe of flying fish.
- Poached Chicken Dimsums
Hey kids! In today's class we're going to learn a very simple equation, and it goes like this: DIMSUMS + SHIZUSAN = ETERNAL BLISS. After the Ramen I mentioned above, I've become a total sucker for a good broth, and this did not disappoint. I always marvel at how they manage to pack such an amazing, tangy, spicy punch in something that looks so watery and thin. Yo, I could drink that in a glass. The minced chicken was SO AWESOME, perfectly cooked (it says a lot that that phrase is popping up so much in this post) and nice and spicy!
This Edamame in Sriracha Sauce was a little tweaked and custom made for us, and I swear, all the adults were ignoring everything else and literally licking the plate. As my mom and aunt reported, the flavour of the garlic and Sriracha were very well balanced and it wasn't too spicy, and not too flat either. I know right, everyone turns into Matt Preston when I'm reviewing a restaurant.
- White Hot and Sour Soup (Chicken)
My aunt and uncle shared this soup, and they commented that the flavour was great, and that the kick of green chilli was prominent and appreciated. The taste of the soup itself really shone through because there was no Soy (hence 'White').
- Cashew Nut Chicken
We ordered the Cashew Nut Chicken and Steamed Rice for my little sister, but I ended up eating most of it ('I ended up eating most of it' = story of my life). What I loved about this dish was the sweet and sour sauce, it was simply delicious! Needless to say, the chicken was cooked to perfection.
This place really has it all, I swear. Right from the first time we went to Shizusan, the staff has always been so kind. Everyone there treats you like a long lost relative without being pushy or annoying, and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Special thank you to Mr Shashank, who is 'our guy' I guess at Shizu. He always manages to get us a table, listens to and appreciates our feedback, and is very very friendly. This time, we stayed an extra half hour after paying, just chatting with him! I think the experience would not at all be the same without him! Also, a big thank you to Mr Deepak, who was able to make a lot of customisations for us 🙂 . Service is super fast too, which is a good thing because I can never wait to devour their dishes!!
What more is there to say? Just the best place ever, if the previous 1610 words weren't enough 🙂
My Star Rating
8659685683458506564 out of 5 stars.
Once again, A HUGE THANK YOU TO TEAM SHIZU! We LOOOOVE you guys!
And YES, we ordered all that food.
And ate it.
Nothing left over.
Now, now, let's not judge…
ThePastryPoet, signing off.