Zen Asian Diner is a fresh twist on Asian cuisine with a fusion of modern and traditional cooking styles from different Asian cultures. Each Zen dish is prep[auth] ared with ingredients that are intentionally chosen for nutrition as well as taste. The menu is influenced by old world Asian cooking – from the wok-fired classics of China to the street market spices and herbs of Thailand, all fresh and made in-house daily. With courteous staff and a tasteful atmosphere, Zen Asian Diner will surely provide you with an enjoyable, express-dining experience. Despite its humble name, Zen’s dishes will appeal to anyone who’s a fan of Asian fare. Your choices of protein – tofu, chicken, beef, roasted pork and shrimp can be combined with a selection of Asian flavors which include red and yellow curry, teriyaki, sweet, spicy, Kung Pao and Mongolian to name a few. Most entrées include rice (steamed or fried) or are noodle based.
Zen has the classic standbys like fried rice, sweet & sour chicken and egg rolls all the way to contemporary fusion, like the Vietnamese Salad and the Summer Rolls. A few personal favorites include the Pot Stickers, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, the Vietnamese Salad and Singapore Noodle.
The Pot Stickers (6 count) are a solid way to whet the appetite. Minced chicken, napa cabbage, scallion and shallot enveloped in a wonton wrapper which is fried and tastes best with duck sauce or chili paste. If you prefer a lighter appetizer, the Chicken Lettuce Wraps won’t disappoint: minced chicken, bell pepper, black mushroom, onion, cilantro, scallion, shallot, sesame and crushed peanuts served with leaves of crisp lettuce all play off each other to create a refreshing and delectable starter which may tempt you to order it again in the same sitting.
Wish to stay within the theme of lighter fare? The Vietnamese Salad comprised of romaine salad mix, vermicelli noodles, tomato, cucumber, carrot, sesame, scallion, crushed peanuts, cilantro and a ginger soy “dressing” is the way to go. You do have options with the protein but beef is the top choice for anybody craving a dish that’s satisfying and flavorful yet light enough to keep you from hating yourself after consumption.
If carbs of the noodle variety are what you’re looking for, the Singapore Noodle with roast pork is sure to leave a positive mark. Egg, napa cabbage, carrot, onion, bean sprout, scallion, shallot, cilantro and lime served atop a bed of vermicelli noodles – don’t forget the chili paste. I usually use about 3 tablespoons of it. On that note, some dishes have a chili symbol on the menu to denote that it does contain a few whole dried chili’s to add some spice but all of these dishes are harmless if you don’t consume them and even then, they’re mild with no lingering heat. The icon is there for those with extremely sensitive palates. If you don’t mind a little spice and if something sounds good but you’re worried about heat – don’t be – as this isn’t a Thai restaurant by nature.
Overdo it on the chili paste? Then there’s always a little bit of consolation in the fountain area that only a few seem to take advantage of when I’m there – a lever-action airpot filled with hot jasmine tea. Just fill your cup to the brim with ice, pump once and watch the refreshment flow.
Soups, salads, starters, noodles, rice, sweet and sour and even something for the kids are offered at Zen Asian Diner – even a drive-thru window for pick-up orders.
Zen Asian Diner – located at 107 E Country Club, 575-624-7800