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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This unpretentious spot may be one of the most underrated places in town



When You're Craving Asian

This unpretentious spot may be one of the most underrated places in town

Story by Bob Gourley

Photography provided by Zenshin Asian Restaurant


Cuisines of the world forever progress, and that is especially true of the many flavors of Asia. Zenshin Asian Restaurant at South Point Hotel and Casino personifies the very definition of their name: advancement, progression, and moving forward. This unpretentious spot just off the casino may be one of the most underrated places in town.

Chef/Owner Terence Fong, a Las Vegas resident for 38 years, is the man responsible for the many tastes that have made the place as popular as it is. Fong has worked with some of the greats including Wolfgang Puck at Szechuan. He also delighted diners was at the old Bacchanal Room at Caesars. Visitors still talk about the seven-course feasts and the waitresses that were adorned in Roman goddess costumes. Another stop at Gatsby’s also helped his ascension.

The cuisine is Asian Fusion, and Fong likes to say they are, “predominantly Japanese with tastes from China, Korea, and an occasional special from Vietnam.” He is European trained so the entrees reflect French and Italian influences. He still travels to Europe often to learn about new culinary trends and loves to customize each diner’s experience to fulfill their expectations.

Specialty sushi rolls are popping up just about everywhere, and you will find a bundle of them offered here—over , over 30 at last count. The 777 is the most popular, consisting of spicy soft-shell crab roll topped with spicy tuna, aioli, and eel sauce. By the way, the fish that makes its way to hungry diners' tables arrive from different places around the world. Tuna is imported from Hawaii, Hamachi from Japan, and fresh salmon, a staple in the Pacific Northwest, is brought in from Washington State.

One of the things that make Zenshin special is the quality of the food and the affordable prices. A sushi sampler with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and more is available for $17.00. The same holds true for the Signature Entrée Dishes menu that helps to define the expansive Asian theme.

My recent visit found me craving the sautéed garlic shrimp. Large scampi were served with a delicious garlic butter sauce that could have come from a bistro in France. Grilled teriyaki salmon was delivered with a generous portion of fish garnished with stir-fry vegetables and citrus soy.

The seaweed salad, is as notable as it is healthy, is delicious and immersed in sesame dressing. Seaweed makes another appearance in the sunomono with thinly shaved marinated cucumber, crab, tako and shrimp.

Many Asian restaurants tend to be limited in their dessert offerings, but at Zenshin be sure to leave room for sweet endings here. The Mini Malassadas are the signature item and don’t miss them. Called “Portuguese donuts,” these delicate morsels are delivered with a dusting of cinnamon and wisps of custard and chocolate sauce, much like New Orleans beignets that have become so popular.

If you are visiting the big island of Hawaii, be sure to stop by one of the 7-11’s. Chef Fong sends frozen malassadas there regularly, delivering about 5,400 a month. For those who are getting ready for the Audi Henderson Lake Las Vegas Classic, Fong has hinted that he will have some ready for the crowd on October 28.

You will love the malassadas, but don’t pass on other favorites like Crème Brulee made from classic vanilla beans, whipped cream, and strawberries. Their warm Pineapple Side Down Cake is rich with caramel and vanilla ice cream.

Adult spirits are part of the total experience. From the Specialty Cocktail menu is the Toki Cocktail, refreshing any time of the year. Suntory “Toki” Whisky is combined with cranberry juice and pineapple juices, ginger beer, and lime. Non-alcoholic cocktails include Lychee Breeze with lychee puree, lemon, pineapple, and Sierra Mist. 

Wines by the glass are reasonably priced, a nice break from so many restaurants in town. With vintages from different countries of the world, connoisseurs can have their pick. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand is offered for just $8 a glass. One Hope Merlot from the golden state and Pinot Noir from Underwood, Oregon are also bargain priced. As you would expect, plum wine from Choya is ready for a toast.

Sake enthusiasts will have no problem finding something they will like from a list of 19 choices. Yuki White Peach from Berkeley, California utilizes the sweet flavors of unfiltered sake with accents of white peach. You will also find Japanese Craft beers like Yona Yona Pale Ale and Aooni IPA.

Be sure and visit the Zenshin booth at the Audi Henderson Lake Las Vegas Classic. Along with the donuts, Chef Fong has promised more appealing culinary delights.


Zenshin Asian Restaurant

9777 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas



Audi Henderson Lake Las Vegas Classic

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