Let none accuse us of bias or partiality: we have a favorable bias towards and are unashamedly partial to the sushi that rolls out of Zechuan Sushi’s Fenqi Road shop. The best in the city? That’s not a claim that we’d like to make – de gustibus non estdisputandumest and all that – but there’s no honor in attempting to whitewash the fact that we set out for Zechuan Sushi’s new West Lake Avenue (西湖大道) location with high hopes, great expectations, and intentionally empty bellies.
Four or more times the size of their smidgen of a storefront 40 meters up from the intersection of Fengqi and Wulin Roads, the West Lake Avenue venue allowed us to sit at a compact but comfortable table for four and dig-in to old favorites and new fare. We settled into position at 11:30am sharp on a Monkday, and were immediately glad that our rendezvous was scheduled for that side of noon. Within fifteen minutes there was nary a seat to be had, and the air hummed with the sounds of soft chatter and the clinking of lacquered chopsticks upon sturdy foodservice crockery.
Portions are generous, and the playful plating often paired well with their whimsical lilt towards exaggerated mixings of nippy andslightly sweet. Not only did no piece of aquatic produce taste distinctly fishy (including the fish!), but - excepting the divine sashimi –many items suggested an intentional list in the direction of a confection. Fun funfun and delicious down to the last grain of rice, the final wisp of seaweed, the penultimate crumb of tempura.
The décor is light and cheery – think Katsushika Hokusai, not Hello Kitty! –and service was effective. Parking alongside West Lake Ave. is catch-as-catch-can. A ten-minute walk up from the Metro station at Ding’An Road. POS-compatible credit cards accepted. The clean, well-maintained WC has a proper Western convenience.
No English menu, but photos are available, no Wi-Fi, “talk more to your friends” is written on their wall.