Zengo

zengo calamari

I wasn’t sure what sort of food to expect from a place called “Zengo” located in Chinatown. Is it Japanese? Japanese/Chinese fusion?

I had a chance to find out a few weeks ago when I popped in there for happy hour. The cuisine turned out to be an intriguing Latin-Asian fusion, which I enjoyed quite a bit (with a couple exceptions).

They’ve got a pretty decent happy hour menu, and our waiter that day was feeling quite generous, so we lucked out on a few extra drinks past the usual 7pm deadline. (Actually, I should correct that and say that my *friends* lucked out. I, not surprisingly, nursed one glass of wine all evening).

I really like the interior, which houses a large lounge area downstairs with comfortable chairs and couches by the bar. The dining room is upstairs, where their restrooms are also located. (Instead of doors, the restrooms are separated by a long beaded curtain…interesting).

So, on to the food! Pictured above is my friend’s “crunchy calamari,” served with lemongrass, garlic, mixed greens, and orange-coriander sauce. I had a bite, and it was delicious! I do love coriander anything. ♥


zengo kobe

Kobe Skirt Steak Sopes
corn cake / won bok / black bean puree / crema fresca

Sounds like it should be amazing, but I didn’t like this very much. Maybe it was the corn cake, which had an odd mealy flavor to it. But supposedly, it tasted the way it should have tasted. Guess I just ordered the wrong thing.

zengo crab avo dip

Crab-Tomatillo Avocado Dip
truffle oil / won ton chips

I loved the crispy won ton chips! They serve the wasabi guac at SEI with won ton chips too. I like this combination better than with corn chips. Corn chips tend to be too dry and bland. Not to mention too hard. I liked the avocado here, but I’m not too big on crab dip, so I just had a bite of it and passed on the rest.

zengo empanadas

Thai Chicken Empanadas
chile poblano rajas / oaxaca cheese / mango-curry salsa

Had just a bite, and liked it very much. I’d never seen empanadas served in sauce before. Interesting.

zengo peking duck

Crispy Peking Duck Tacos
daikon / chili / orange / curried green apple

I loved this unique dish! Who would’ve thought to use pickled daikon strips instead of tortillas? Brilliant! Plus, I’m always very enthusiastic about these “do it yourself” plates, where you can assemble your own food at the table. The duck was cooked perfectly, and had a great salty flavor that contrasted very well with the sweetness of the curried apples. It was a little messy to eat, but a fab dish overall.

Would definitely go back for another happy hour…and probably order the duck again.

And by the way, the website claims that the name “Zengo” means “give and take” but it actually means “before and after” or alternatively, “front and back.”

Wow! this in an example of fusion food. XD;;

And the alternativers they gave with mexican ideas were pretty interesting.

Thanks for sharing!

 

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