I’m very pleased that I made an effort to dust off my high heels for our date night at Zengo – this uber glam restuaurant is part of the Royal Meridien hotel in the Marina and is just the place to go if you fancy getting dressed up for a special night out – think dark wood flooring, low level lighting, contemporary design and funky lounge music (oh and it has its very own entrance meaning that you don’t have to traipse through a hotel to get to it – perfect when you’re as out of practice walking in high heels as I am!).
The space is gorgeous – and absolutely huge! A beautiful oudoor terrace spans the entire length of the restaurant and overlooks the amazing hotel grounds and there’s a cool mix of dining spaces and lounge/bar areas for a pre-dinner aperitif. We’d only been in the restaurant a few minutes and were already seriously impressed – so when Lexi our fabulous Chinese waitress managed to wow my “connoisseur” husband with her wine pairing skills plus her knowledge of every little thing on the menu (and being attentive enough without being annoying), we knew this was the start of a great night.
The food at Zengo is Asian with a Latin American feel – which might sound weird but was utterly delightful. We sampled a mixture of fish and meat, sushi, ceviche and the most delicious duck pancakes which had a distinctly Latin American taste. The sushi and ceviche was as fresh as could be and was well complimented by a home made white soy sauce. This was a first for us both and I only wish I had discovered this sooner (and that I could take some home!!) – I can only describe the taste as softer than the darker version, full of flavour and without too much saltiness or sharpness. Yum!
For our main we chose lamb chops – delicious, cooked perfectly pink and totally moreish (would definitely choose them again). We also opted for the tooth fish that was equally delicious with a noticeably Asian taste and beautifully prepared with a pretty green watercress topping and a portion of Sakura fried rice that was very tasty but perhaps not the best accompaniment to the lamb.
And then the desert …WOW! Highly recommend the Pralus Bio Equateur, a delicious honeycomb cake with an unusual texture, enough chocolate to satisfy a sweet tooth and of course a scrummy crunchy honeycomb – lovely and sweet – with a theatrical finishing touch – nitro honeycomb served from a steaming wooden bucket of dry ice!
Happy and full, we moved to the outdoor lounge area and took a seat at the bar where the mega friendly bar staff mixed signature cocktails for us to try – the Tokyo express (whisky based, with a sweet but nicely sour taste) served in a glass wrapped in Japanese newspaper was a big hit with the hubby.
And I must mention the special culinary adventure “Magic Box” which we were asked to try to finish our evening. Without spoiling any surprises this is well worth a try if you’re eating out in a group and willing to partake in a little fun while learning something new during your night out. It involved a treasure map, a spoon of popping candy, a glass of drink and some cubed fresh fruits – and what followed was very impressive!
All in all our evening at Zengo was delightful – great food, lovely service, beautiful surroundings and very knowledgeable and helpful staff. We would definitely return – go while the weather is still cool and make the most of the fab outdoor space mamas!
Zengo, Le Royal Meredien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Sufouh road, P O Box 118500, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 316 5550, www.zengo-dubai.com