Halal Japanese Food at Zem One in Mississauga

Halal Japanese

In a busy retail plaza just off of Hurontario St. just south of Eglington Ave. in Mississauga sits Zem One, a modest and tranquil restaurant serving halal Japanese food.

It’s not everyday we get to eat halal Japanese food. Many people naturally assume that sushi is halal. However, few know that sake and mirin could be used in the preparation of their favourite roll.

A trusted person in the community tipped me off to Zem One. The staff will also confirm their meat status and the owners themselves are Muslim. They do not serve alcohol and it’s not used in the preparation of their food either. Like all of our reviews, please check before you visit/order/consume as this could change if there is a change of ownership, etc.

***NOTE*** There is differing opinion on seafood so please base your decisions on your own views. The point of this review is for the food, not religious debate.

Halal Japanese

You can miss the restaurant very easily as it’s tucked away in the corner of the plaza, but the small facade opens up to a spacious, warm and appropriately Zen-like dining area. As you enter, you’re greeted by the sushi chef as per usual custom irrasshaimase!” and then immediately taken to a table by the hostess/waitress. With smiles all around, service so far is at par with my expectations.

Zem One serves halal Japanese food, but they also offer halal Oriental and Thai dishes. They call themselves a fusion restaurant because they offer dishes from these three cultures. The dishes themselves however, are not fusion. The menu is pages and pages of items from appetizers all the way to desserts. It takes us a while to leaf through and actually decide, but we agree to try a little from each category to get a full scope of what the restaurant has to offer.

Halal Japanese

Continuing with our order we move on to appetizers. In this section, you’ll find a mixture of all three cuisine styles. We order Satay Chicken ($5.99) and Tempura Appetizer (7.99). This was the first time doing a review that I was shocked at the portion vs. price ratio. Satay should have been priced much less or larger portioned for the same price. The taste however, was great and the peanut sauce that accompanied the scant skewers was well made and accented the satay nicely. This would have been a hit had we received more. The tempura quantity was more aligned with what I was expecting for the price. Both items were well received in the taste arena.

Halal Japanese

Moving on to main courses, we ordered our children sweet and sour chicken ($12.99) from the Oriental menu. It arrived first with a small bowl of rice. Order an extra bowl or two if you intend to feed more than 2 children/1 adult.

Appearance wise, the dish looked flavourful and fresh however the taste was predictable and expected. We received a large platter with the sweet and sour chicken, but no dinner plates. We had to request them and when they came, they were the size of tea-cup saucers. I could only put about 4-5 tablespoons of food on each plate and half of that ended up falling off since kids and fine motor skills do not always go hand in hand.

Halal Japanese

Next to come out was Thai Mango with Chicken ($12.99) and Green Curry with Beef ($12.99) both Thai dishes. The Thai Mango was by far the best out of the two dishes. I’m using the term best very loosely here, as there were issues with both dishes. Thai food is intense, deep and complex. The only way to sum up my experience was flat. I might give the Thai Mango another try because it definitely had potential; however, I’ll ask them to prepare it with more spice next time. Presentation wise, the Thai dishes looked appetizing.

They need to rethink their fusion concept in my opinion because it’s likely costing them more money to host so many options than it is benefiting them. I have read other reviews online about their great Pad Thai — if that’s the case, perhaps whittling the menu down so that they serve only the best from each cuisine type will be a better move. I see this too often — giant menus which are overwhelming in which most dishes are substandard and the customer is left to play Russian Roulette.

Halal Japanese

The last of the entrees is sushi. Spicy Dynamite Roll 8pcs ($9.99) and Alaska Roll 5psc (9.99). Superb. Fresh. Delivered all promises. Out of the two, Alaska Roll would have to be my favourite. It was intricate with the many ingredients, but still fairly beginner (which I requested). I liked the fact that it was deep-fried as well.

I’m not a sushi connoisseur but I believe sushi etiquette is to eat the entire piece in one bite. I felt that the pieces were too large to do that so I ended up taking several bites. I was making a mess, and glad no one was around to witness. I also learned that in sushi etiquette, it’s ok to use your hands if chopsticks fail you — which they did. So I continued to enjoy their sushi right down to the last piece.

Halal Japanese

For dessert, we ordered the fried banana with mango ice cream ($6.99).You can’t go wrong with this choice!

My recommendation is to stick with their appetizers, sushi and chef’s recommendations; Pad Thai and General Tao Chicken (both $8.99 each).

Despite the few bumps, I will come back to Zem One halal Japanese restaurant. They offer great customer service, wonderful sushi and the confidence that all of their meat is halal so no worries of cross contamination. As mentioned above, they don’t use sake, mirin or any other alcohol at all (both known to be used in the preparation of sushi); another reason why this is the best place to eat sushi — at a halal Japanese restaurant!

Zem One Halal Japanese Restaurant

4555 Hurontario Street,
Mississsauga ON, L4Z 3M2

Zem-One on Urbanspoon

By: October 19, 2012


  • Salaam. Thanks for the review. Do you happen to know where they get their meat from?


    • Halal Foodie on October 21, 2012

      We alykum salaam! Wa’iyakum and thank you so much for supporting the site! I wasn’t able to verify the meat source with the owner himself so it’s best to call them personally and ask. I usually only publish the name when I can speak to the owner directly.

    • The meat is purchased from Al-Majid halal meet grocers…confirmed by the manager/supervisor. The food was Awesome…cant wait to go back for more.

  • Halal Foodie on November 26, 2012

    Update to this review: The owner has made improvements on every level! I can’t wait to go back and try more yummy sushi!

  • Thanks for the review. Glad I checked it before heading there shortly. Enjoyed the review as it was tempered with humour !

  • This place looks good! There’s another japanese restaurant that (claims) to be halal in Mississauga. It’s at dixie and eglinton, in the same lot as Bamiyan, Popeyes, Karamia, etc.

  • Just paid them a visit yesterday- sushi was AWESOME! The manchurian chicken and hakka fried noodles were also enjoyable, but the sushi still tops the list! Service was also commendable, very attentive.

  • I was going to try the halal sushi place at Eglinton/Dixie recently, until I found out that they serve alcohol. The kids were very disappointed… So I’m very happy to have come across this review. Looking forward to trying this restaurant iA.

  • I know the purpose of the post was to review Zem One, but if you’re going to say that most sushi isn’t halal at least give us a list of which places we should specifically avoid, please.

    • Halal Foodie on March 21, 2013

      I don’t believe I said most sushi places were not halal — I say that most people don’t realize that even though visible ingredients in sushi appear halal (veg, seafood, etc) – hidden ingredients like alcohol could still be present. I have no idea what sushi places you should avoid; I’m simply saying to ask before you eat 🙂

      Maybe visitors could post here if they come across any sushi joints that use alcohol in their sushi?

  • Were your expectations of their service extremely poor? I’ve been to this restaurant twice and both times I was disappointed most by their service and then by the prices. The prices I could live with but for the service I have received I wouldn’t make that mistake again. It’s mismanaged by a young staff that doesn’t seem to have been trained in appropriate service etiquette. I give this place kudos up for the quality of food FOR SURE but two thumbs way down based on their service. Really disappointing!

    • Halal Foodie on July 26, 2013

      Thanks Iram! We went on a slow day so we were one of just a couple of patrons and received good customer service from the mature staff. I agree with you, their pricing seemed a bit high. Hopefully they’ll adjust by giving larger proportions as I don’t see them reducing prices at this point.

    • I agree with Iram regarding the service. We had a group of 5 people, really looking forward to trying halal Japanese food. We called twice to to ask for directions, because we missed the plaza where it’s located (random plan, and no GPS that day). We got to Zem One at 7:40pm and were told that they’re closing at 8:00pm so they can’t take in any more customers. I had talked to their waitress on the phone 2x within the last 30min, she could have let told us that instead of wasting our time to get there and then finding out. We thought our timing was fine, because their website states that they close at 10pm. Horrible experience. Turns out they had some major party booked at 8pm. Still, when we called for directions and said we’ll be arriving soon, they could have told us that we won’t be seated. We came from downtown Toronto, all the way to Sauga to try out Zem One. Ruined our mood of course, and hence we have never gone back to this place. I’ll just get my halal sushi elsewhere. All the other items on their menu is not that unique anyway. These same items are available at other great oriental restaurants, so I’m not missing out.

  • I tried Zem One yesterday and was disappointed. Mainly because there are better tasting options for both Chinese and Thai. I do appreciate halal sushi (no alcohol usage) – however the Dynamite Roll I ordered was very bland.
    The Hakka Chow Mein was over-cooked noodles and abundance of sesame oil. The Red curry with shrimp was too heavy on the cream, the broth was weak and unnecessarily laden with onions. The Chicken Manchurian was not bad – more teriyaki than manchurian though.
    I think Zem One should focus on being Japanese and get that part right.
    I did find the prices too high and also no dinner plates!!! If you are going to give teeny bowl of rice, atleast give some plates.
    All in all probably wont be visiting again unless the menu/ cooking is revamped.

  • I really loved this restaurant. I ordered from the all you can eat sushi menu and as someone who has tried a lot of Sushi restaurants, I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite. It’s great if you’re with people who don’t like sushi since their menu is pretty diverse.

    • I totally agree! It’s the perfect place to take friends and family that aren’t big sushi fans since there are so many other options!

  • I have frequented this restaurant many times, and I still love their food. I usually get their ACYE option, and it is extremely fulfilling. Sometimes their service is slow, but that’s only because there aren’t too many waiters/waitresses (however, the front staff are very friendly). Some of my favourites are: Red Dragon Roll, Salmon sashimi, and mango salad. Their coconut ice cream is also very delicious (real pieces of green coconut). The only item on their menu that I was not a fan of was the miso soup. It was too fishy and watered down. However, there are so many more options on their menu that are great! It’s really nice having a halal sushi option!

  • YummmmmY. Hot and Sour Soup…. Timpura…. California rolls…. I’m drooooling already

  • Yes it’s a good resturant

  • Salam. The address they gave us as to where they get the meat from is 93 Dundas street by hurontario and Dundas however they said it is called “afghania halal meat”.Can someone confirm please?

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