Z’en Japanese Cuisine

Average: 3.5 (1 vote)

Occupying the space that was previously fusion Thai restaurant Rabiang, Zen is the offspring of the good people at En Dining Bar a few doors down the Mohamed Sultan strip. The change of hands might have caused some confusion for the restaurants, as when we called for reservations we heard a recorded phone message for Rabiang. Nonetheless, we secured our reservation, and upon arrival discovered a tastefully chic dining area basking in mood lighting and glass panels. If you can, request to be seated in the sunken area on the second floor overlooking the main dining area. This little nook is perfect for an intimate dinner or a private party. The menu boasts an array of traditional and fusion fare, and is innovative. We intrepidly opted for salmon carpaccio with Perilla and soy sauce, and lightly grilled raw scallops with Ponzu sauce, for starters. Surprisingly different from sashimi, the salmon carpaccio melted in our mouths with the salty-sweet sauce just right. The scallops with a dash of lime and Ponzu sauce (the sauce used in shabu-shabu) were also heavenly. Feeling eager, we went for a third appetizer of breaded beef fillet roll. Four hefty slices of beef were wrapped in rice and seaweed—sushi style. The beef was decidedly juicy and tender, and we later declared this the highlight of the meal. For mains, we ordered eel kabayaki fried rice and prawn tempura with cheese and chili sauce—the latter came highly recommended despite its off-putting moniker. The rice was slightly disappointing, tasting just like standard fried rice sprinkled with grilled eel. However, the prawn tempura was a winner. The batter was light and crisp, and the cheese and chili sauce proved a surprisingly good accompaniment. It arrived in a bubbling pot complete with its own tea light, and tasted somewhat like chili crab sauce, only a little less piquant. Pineapple and coconut jelly pudding ended things on a sweet note; in fact, the refreshing dessert cleansed our palates and tempted us to have seconds. We must add that service is attentive, prompt and discreet, just the way we like it.

Venue Details
Address: Z’en Japanese Cuisine, #01-75 UE Square, 207 River Valley Rd., Singapore, Singapore
Phone: 6732-6863
Area: Singapore River
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: $
Open since: April, 2005
Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-3pm; 24 hours 6pm-midnight
Nearest trainClarke Quay
Alfresco, Parking available: at UE Square carpark, Takeaway available, Dress requirements: smart casual
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