Occupying an oft-overlooked street corner just off the main square, Time is one of the trendiest restaurants in town. The extensive Asian-inspired fusion menu covers all the usual dishes: ramen, sushi, Thai green; but what really stands out is how they blend sizzlingly fresh Adriatic ingredients with a familiar cast of eastern dishes. Much of what is chucked into your pan comes from nearby Dolac market; succulently tender lamb hails from Pag island and seafood is sourced from the coast.
Bota is part of a well respected chain, with venues in Split and Dubrovnik, and two in Croatia’s oyster paradise around Mali Ston. That makes their oysters a must-try, the same as Bota’s Dalmatian specialities that complement the wide selection of makis, nigiris, rolls and sashimis.
Located in the Radnička cesta business district, Tekka attracts a sharp-suited clientele, and has cultivated the elegant decor and uber-attentive staff to go with it. The recently revamped menu is near impeccable: sushi here is a masterful blend of flavour and finesse. For something with a bit more novelty, order from the Adriatic-Asian fusion section. The wine-list, featuring several Croatian award-winners, is well-tailored to the menu. It’s neither central or cheap, but as one of Croatia’s best sushi restaurants, it’s worth the pilgrimage.
The first sushi restaurant in Croatia, Takenoko is still one of the very few Asian restaurants in town worth experimenting with – and although it will set you back a wad of kunas it is usually well worth it. It’s a swirl of mellow mood music mixed with the soft sound of chefs chopping behind a central cooking station. Leafy plants sit in tall vases around heavy wooden tables below track lighting. Try the Tokyo platter: 11 nori makis (tuna and salmon) and seven nigiris. There’s a handsome choice of wok-fried dishes and some truly inventive exercises in east-west fusion, with fish, chicken and veal dressed in exotic spice combinations.
Manzoku Sushi, which opened in 2008, gets the honourable title of Zagreb's first sushi bar. Eight years later, they still seem to have the edge; especially for those yet to experience Japanese culinary culture, there's sometihng of a novelty to watching the chefs roll your sushi right in front of you. Dishes are served in artful arrangements with decorative relishes. You can also get a bowl of ramen from 43 kn, and, with sushi boards at the 60 kn mark, that makes Manzoku excellent value for money.
Evergreen is a stylish little restuarant, with a bright, garden-themed interior, and an extensive Japanese menu. Majestic arrangements of sushi come on light woodern boards, and there' a range of fresh hot fish dishes too. Two-person platters are around the 200 kn mark, meaning you can taste all the best things on the menu at a steal.
The Zagreb sushi scene has experienced a flurry of openings and closures in recent years leaving Ginger Sushi as one of the most reliable central bets for good-quality Japanese fare. There are stools inside if you want to eat in but this is primarily a take-away place. The long menu covers most levels of the sushi stratosphere although with bento sets starting at 30kn you might just want to take a look at what’s already boxed up and ready to go. Asahi and Kirin beer in the fridge.