Tried out the (not so) newly opened Zen Flavours a couple weeks ago with foodies, Ronnie Lui, Joe K and Tomcat. It was a spur of the moment meeting, and with Tomcat's quick thinking, we found ourselves at the restaurant at 6pm that fateful Friday evening. As the sibling store to Zen Corner, it was conveniently located right next door at Sunnybank Plaza. It was great idea to get there early, as before long all the tables were gone and there was a small wait outside.
The menu was soon provided, and it consisted of a fair few options. But given the name, they were of course rice dishes as opposed to noodles, which Zen Corner specialises in. I liked the bbq dishes, baked rice and set meal options. Cutlery was also provided on the table long before we ordered. On the topic of ordering, that heavy responsibility fell upon me that night, and I decided to try a range of everything on the menu (thanks for paying, Uncle Tom!).
First to arrive was the sizzling sliced wagyu beef with pepper and rice, which was served with quite a bit of theatrics by the owner Alex.
The end result being a glorious sizzling mess of beef, rice, shallots and corn. As expected, the dish was piping hot and very fragrant. I loved the charred bits of crunchy rice especially. Sadly though, the beef it was served with was actually quite chewy and fatty, without much beef taste and didnt melt in my mouth like standard wagyu.
Ordering it as a set meal though, it came with a drink, a lemon tea which baby Tomcat thoroughly enjoyed even though I didn't try.
In addition to the drink, the set meal came with soup of the day, which owner Alex was gracious enough to give us four bowls of. What we had that day was a seaweed, carrot and pork broth, which was both light and appetising, but could have been a little saltier for my taste.
On the topic of soup, our next dish was the preserved vegie and fish soup. When it was set down, I almost thought that it was an extra bowl of complimentary soup for baby Tomcat, and was wondering why it came with a side bowl of rice. It was only then that I realised that it was indeed a main that we had ordered. Taste wise it was quite good, the fish was quite flakey and well infused with the taste of the vegies, but the size was really a letdown.
The set meal also came with a side dish of fresh vegies, this was done just like home and was well received across the table. I liked the generous portion of oyster sauce on top.
Speaking about homey flavours, the next dish was the Flame Grilled Pork Ribs, which were cooked just like we have it at home. Grilled to a nice charred perfection, it was slathered with barbecue sauce and honey. Although the meat was tougher than the usual fall-off-the-bone tenderness, it wasn't too tough and made for some light chewing. Now if only I could convince mum to make it more often...
Our last dish was by far the crowd favourite being the Baked Rice with Creamy Chicken. As a HongKonger, our "national" comfort dish would have to be creamy baked rice topped with cheese. The cheese was deliciously toasted, with strings of it gluing the rice with the creamy sauce and tender chicken thigh pieces. No doubt a simple dish, but executed really well.