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“An Absolute must” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zen Sai

Zen Sai
1001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 276 - 5339
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Ranked #42 of 876 Restaurants in Miami Beach
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 10th Street
Description: Zen Sai is an Asian-Infusion masterpiece featuring renowned Chef Mike Hiraga. It's a unique social dining experience on South Beach with small and large sharing plates of fresh seafood and Robata grilled items. Signature items at Zen Sai include Fried Bok Choy, Black Cod with Yuzu Miso Sauce, Scallion Wrapped Ribeye, Pork Belly Sliders, Robata Grilled Octopus, Miso-Mustard Glazed Sea Bass and Spicy Rock Shrimp Tempura with Serrano Aioli and Worcestershire Sauce. Zen Sai also features an extensive wine list, fine sakes and specialty sake cocktails to complement menu items
Greeley, Colorado
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“An Absolute must”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012 via mobile

Amazing evening. The staff was simply fantastic and the food was beyond expectations. You have to have the boc choy starter. Everything is fresh and wonderful. The GM stopped by to say hello as well. There are a ton of places on south beach to eat but this is must visit.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    79
    26
    7
    3
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
204 reviews 204 reviews
124 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
141 helpful votes 141 helpful votes
“Not really expected but totally brilliant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012 via mobile

What a nice surprise. Had no real expectations beforehand but I left this restaurant a big fan. Staff were very friendly and attentive and the menu was extensive, inexpenive with a lot of mouth watering options. Also the quality and freshness of the food was amazing I will definitely be returning to this restaurant in the future. Recommend you go there before it becomes too well known. If you don't you will be sorry!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“More than pleasantly surprised”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2012

My hubby and I went there tonight for the Gilt City Special, with very low expectations but walked out absolutely thrilled!

The service is the best thing that this restaurant has to offer, but the food is really good as well. Our server was attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly. The Gilt City Special allows you to order one snack, one small plate, one robata grill item, and a zen sai roll. We went ahead and order a few more items in addition to that because that's what we do.

For our snacks, we order the fried bok choy and the squid jerky. Both plates were really good but worked out even better together. The garlic aioli from the squid jerky balances out the saltiness of the fried bok choy.

For our small plates we had the spicy rock shrimp and the yellow tail jalapeno. Both delicious. The rock shrimp batter is very light and just a little spicy and the plate comes in an edible bowl. The presentation was beautiful. The yellow tail jalapeno was one of our favorite things on the menu. It was fresh and just a little spicy but not overpowering.

For the robata item, we ordered the pork belly which comes with bean sauce and pickled corn. Our server then brought us four additional spices and sauces for the pork. The best were garlic and chili paste and the serrano sauce. They added quite a bite to the pork which was tender and really didn't need it. We just like our food a little spicier (my hubby likes it extremely spicy).

Then we had the spicy tuna roll which was yummy and it was complimented perfectly with the soy sauce and wasabi. It also comes with tiny pieces of tempura that made each roll just a little crunchy. Fantastic!

This place is a gem. Good food with fabulous service. For those who have been to Nobu, you can get the same quality of food at an affordable price.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Tampa, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“New, Unique Approach to Asian Cuisine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

I have eaten at this restaurant twice in the last month during late July and early August 2012. It is a newly opened Asian cuisine restaurant inside the elegant Essex House Hotel in Miami Beach on Collins Ave at 10th.

My wife loved the Sushi and I enjoyed trying bacon wrapped scallops, garbanzo bean spring rolls and other unique and flavorful dishes.

It's not your typical hum-drum Chinese / Asian styled cuisine. The chef has clearly given some great detail into planning the menu and offering some unique and fun dishes.

Staff is very friendly and excited to have you try their new dishes. Also found it to be reasonably priced and service was quick. You can eat inside by the lounge / bar area, outside on the patio or poolside in a very private and intimate garden setting.

Just 1 block off the beach and close to everything, you should try it.

CAL

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“A beautiful experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

This was the best restaurant of the trip and one of the most memorable meals ever. They had just opened and after a day of walking up and down the beach and restaurant strip with the super-aggressive food hawkers on the sidewalk pushing mediocre fare, Zen Sai was like entering heaven. The staff were a little nervous and even over attentive, but you can understand it being their first night open to the public. The Japanese chef has put together a wonderful collection of smaller dishes, each one quite exquisite. The liquor selection is limited (Japanese beers are now brewed in Canada - opted for a Tiger from Singapore instead, which is excellent). The deep fried bok choi appetizer is amazing and also had some skewers and a squid with aioli which were equally delightful. Their mojito, by the way, is made with sake and must be tried - absolutely the best ever. The setting is romantic as well - in a garden and near a pool, which makes for a very grove-like atmosphere - and there's also a nice bar adjoining and both are part of the classy Essex art deco hotel. If you're a foodie, you gotta try Zen Sai. Wow!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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