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A few weeks ago, I visited Zen Garden Restaurant with a fellow blogger; Susan Mukami of a Kenyan Collective. She writes interesting articles on food, news, travel, entertainment and other exciting trends happening in our country. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook to see all that she does. If you have been following these posts, you remember her from the Intercontinental Hotel new menu launch (here). A huge thank you to Susan for this collaboration. Here is a picture of us (right – Susan) after stuffing ourselves.
Zen Garden is located on Lower Kabete Road in Kitisuru (see here). It is very easy to access from the main road and offers more than just delicious food. Their grounds can be hired for events and their conference rooms used for meetings.
The garden has two restaurants in one. There is Bamboo Restaurant that focuses on Pan Asian cuisine, (remember the review on Pan Asian Yao restaurant? See here) while Jade Coffee & Tea House offers far more than coffee and tea.
Luckily for you, Susan and I ordered from both restaurants so you get a insight on both. An interesting feature I loved was the fact that the restaurants operate independently but the guests have the luxury to sit at whichever restaurant and order from either menu. You could be soaking in the sun at Jade’s but still be able to indulge in Pan Asian dishes from the more quiet and relaxed Bamboo restaurant.
Bamboo is a beautiful place. (See food menu and drinks menu). I felt the decor and set up gives a more mature, peaceful dining experience when compared to Jade. I’d call Bamboo fine dining and Jade, a normal continental cuisine restaurant.
Jade offers all types of dishes. From vegetarian to non-vegetarian meals and even snacks. The sitting area at Jade is adjacent to the beautiful garden but one can also choose to sit inside. See food menu and drinks menu). It’s great for kids since parents can sit at the outdoor sitting area and watch their kids play in the grass from a distance. In fact, their kids menu is a testimony to this. But remember, even at Bamboo, your kids can enjoy the same kiddie meal as you dunk your sushi in soy sauce and sip some fancy wine!
The outdoor sitting area for both restaurants was my favourite part about it all. Besides, the sun was up, so, I got to capture it all in the best lighting. Leave the garden area. Look at this shaded area connecting the two restaurants.
As we waited for our food, Susan had an afternoon affair cocktail (750/=) while I had a tropical smoothie (450/=). This gin-based cocktail was really good. I highly recommend it for it’s perfect bitter-sweet balance and the cool, refreshing taste given by the mint.
My smoothie was delicious! I wouldn’t order it when having a heavy meal because it is extremely filling. Smooth, packed with vitamins and very thick. Towards the bottom, I asked for a spoon to scoop it out. Since it was a tropical smoothie, it tasted like lots of different fruits with an outstanding berry flavour explosion. There was definitely banana in there and you guys know how much I love bananas. I could taste apples too! I could have this as a light meal and be very okay. If you had to choose between milkshakes and smoothies, what would you pick?
For our starter, we ordered Prawn Tempura @ 1,600/= that was served with a light soy. The prawns were huge and then the serving was generous. There were about 7 pieces and each bite was incredible! The crunchy coating was light enough for you not to forget what you’re eating. You know those samosas that are like a whole loaf of bread with a piece of meat? Not these prawns! We were simply dipping in the soy sauce and biting away. The soy sauce gave a great punch of flavour. Make sure you dip!
Susan had creamy funghi pasta as her main course (1,200/=). The pasta was well seasoned, cooked to perfection (not hard – not soggy) then combined with a white rosemary sauce, chicken strips and button mushrooms. It’s all the best ingredients in one plate. Cream, chicken and mushrooms! Mmmhhh The chicken wasn’t just thrown in flavourless. It had been grilled/roasted to give a slightly smokey taste. This is definitely the one-plate-wonder. I believe there was some cheese in the sauce or maybe it was topped with cheese. If you don’t like cheese, maybe you should try what I had. Personally, I like cheese but appreciate it most on pizza.
What I ordered from Bamboo didn’t come with an accompaniment. Maybe because it is a large portion and they assume you’ll be sharing. (You know how Asian or Chinese places serve food). I’d be surprised if you tried to put the serving spoon it comes with in your mouth. Crispy pork (1,500/=) was the name. Tender but crispy-crunchy and drizzled with the sweetest of spices. Speaking of Asian food, who has been to ‘For You’ restaurant and how was your experience?
For my accompaniment, I settled on Sweet Potato fries @ 500/= from Jade. These tasted almost better than bhajias. They were crunchy, well portioned and had great flavour! I don’t know what to think of the sauce as I thought it didn’t complement the fries. Maybe a bit flat but great consistency.
Later, we had 3 scoops of ice-cream to share. Chocolate at the bottom and caramel and vanilla at the top. All at 700/=. The chocolate had a strong, rich flavour. It’s what you’d expect after taking a bite from a chocolate bar. In fact, this was the case with the vanilla ice cream. There were actual vanilla chocolate pieces in it. And the flavour? Definitely the best I have ever had. I am not a fan of vanilla ice-cream so that is a very sincere comment.
As for caramel, let’s just say, I love caramel so much that I hardly ever mind if it’s good or not. That being said, I thought the flavour came out well but the caramel ice-cream from Muthaiga Country Club beats this by far! (Posted a picture on social media.)
Zen Garden has a dessert section which purely focuses on spoiling your waist line and making you smile. See the menu here. Actually, everything served at Zen and especially in this section, has been made there. Even the ice-cream cones! Which is why, they can sell tubs of ice-cream and offer a wide variety of cakes to their customers.
This is truly the garden of all trades. From grounds for events, conference facilities, both continental and Pan Asian cuisines, bakery and of course an Ice-cream shop! What more do you need? Keep it up Zen!
That’s all I had for you today! Let me know your thoughts on this post in the comment section below!
Thank you so much for stopping by!