Zen Fine Chinese Cuisine:
Anyone been here? It's at Steveston Village and if you do some research, they were in the new a few years ago, after 3 differ business ventures, and a new location, they are back. The Chef's name is called Sam and they have done a lot of advertising on the Chinese radio station.
They are now doing huge 50% off promos so here's my review. * These are not my pictures and so I can't take credit at all.
1) double Boiled soup. The soap is not the regular soap that your mom makes, it's like a consume soup, where it's clear. There's no MSG at all. However, it tasted as if it was any normal soup. (if you wanted to order it on the side, it's 9 bucks). It's bout a 20 oz ... nothing too special.
2) baked diced abalone. The presentation was pretty and you can totally taste the Thai spices. However, it's a huge waste to use the abalone, dice it to bits and then stuff / baked it again. Something are best left untouched, eg// foie gras. Don't butcher it and make it a tar tar for example. You can taste the abalone and the aroma and all was great, but just a tad of a waste.
3) Lobster with cream sauce + spaghetti. Lobster was done really well. It was cooked 70%, rested and then tossed in cream sauce afterwards. Not the chinese fake sauce but the legit ones. They say the spaghetti was house made, meh. Sauce was great, lobster was done perfectly, spaghetti wasn't a huge win but over all very impressed with the light sauce balance.
4) Tofu Duo: Crispy toft (similar to encrusted with Panko). Nothing to rave about.
5) Zen pizza. They say it was filo but it wasn't. The italian bacon was nice but the pizza was soggy and wasn't good at all.
6) panna cotta dessert made with rose water was pretty good.
7) add on dishes: Pork Belly 7/10 not worth mentioning, a bit dry.
8) 1/2 a chicken 7/10 meh, not worth mentioning.
Pros: the chef and the Caucasian server guy I think is the owner. His service was totally professional, attentive AND just simply amazing. Opening the door for us when we leave, filling up water and checking on us. It was a slower night but he was great.
If you're single or has a sign. ofter , craving for good chinese food. You can't eat 6 course meal at Kirin cause you'll have so much left over food. This is great with the set menu.
Cons: The server was great, but he did not SMILE at all, which really killed it. A smile goes a long way.
The only beef I have with this place is the price. It's 60 dollars / person, and it's 50+25% off now, that made it economical. HOWEVER, the menu does NOT change. WTF..... I want options, I want changes, it's epic stupid for a chef to not make diff. dishes.
Lastly, as much as it's a cuisine, ALL the dishes were simply NO different than any other dish you get a Kirin. I wish they would have time to refresh the menu and make something that's "wow, I'm so going back cause it's the only place where I can eat it". Head chef needs to read more books, travel a bit and get some inspiration.
service was 9.9/10 (some people say it's a hit or a miss)