A foreign talent and I went to Zen Cafe because it was recommended to me by Rendall, a reader of this blog. (Hello Rendall!). Since I think all my readers have great taste, I went.
Zen Cafe, East Coast
I was quite unprepared by the classiness of the place. Its chief color is black and black always exudes a sense of sophistication. I was equally surprised that it was bustling in East Coast (too many people!!!!) but when we were there at 7, it was empty. (but the crowd started coming in soon… but still not crowded.)
Another thing that has taken me by surprise is how expensive it is. A set meal can go up to $80? I always check HGW before I go to restaurants, and the average spending is only $30? So I’m not the only cheapskate around lah.
Foreign Talent and I ordered half a dozen of oysters to share. Only $1 each! It’s a steal. (Please note that even though you can order any amount of oysters, it’s a rule that oysters go in dozens, half a dozen, dozen, etc…) The oysters weren’t particularly huge or mindblowingly fresh, but for $1, I think it’s still worth it!
I ordered the kangaroo meat ($32.80++). The server asked me how I would like the meat to be done. I love my beef medium-rare, that’s when beef tastes the best. But I don’t know how kangaroo tastes like, so I asked for medium. It took a while for the food to come.
I love the beautiful layout, a slab of cut meat on mashed potato with the salad by the side on a long plate. Gorgeous. But I thought $32 is a little too expensive for so little meat?
The taste of kangaroo meat is like beef. I think the marinate was excellent because on first bite, I thought the meat was sweet in a citrus manner, but on careful tasting, I realize that kangaroo meat has a very slight bitter aftertaste but the marinate managed to cover it. I don’t think most people would have discovered the bitterness. The meat was tender and sweet, a refreshing change from the normal meat.
The side salad was equally awesome and fresh.
I don’t like potatoes. When I was young, I don’t even like french fries but now I grew to like it. But this mashed potato was the bomb! Irresistibly good. So silky smooth and creamy but in a light way. Win.
I, however, didn’t like the sneaky way that two mineral bottles were placed at our table even before we arrived for our reservation. It made me think that they were free, but we paid a dollar each.
Overall, a quiet small restaurant that deserves a better crowd, but can do with lowering the prices.
1000 East Coast Parkway
Marine Cove Unit A-8
T: 6449 3221
or HP: 91074807
Hours – 2pm – 11pm
Rating: 3.669/5 stars