Zen Garden is an exclusively vegetarian Chinese and Thai buffet restaurant in Leather Lane, central London. It’s a restaurant that depends largely upon the custom of people working nearby, and hence it’s only open Monday-Friday and is closed at weekends.
Ben discovered this place when he was working in the area. He and his colleagues had eaten there a few times before they realised that the food was exclusively vegetarian! Before that, they just thought that the meat tasted a little funny!
I was slightly cautious when I first visited, since the buffet features a few dishes that look like meat, and the vegetarian aspect of the restaurant isn’t emphasised much. However, the staff assured me that all the food was vegetarian.
I have now eaten a few lunches at Zen Garden and each time the food selection has been slightly different. The dishes include things like sesame toast, crispy seaweed, Singapore noodles, stir fried vegetables, tiny spring rolls, samosas, Thai curries, chow mein, sweet and sour, and rice. There’s always a wide selection of things to choose from, and despite me being a little fussy, I never struggle to find things I like. If you dislike salty food, this place might not be for you, as many of the dishes taste like they are high in salt. I try to off-balance the salty dishes with the less salty ones. Occasionally some of the dishes can be a little cold, but this doesn’t detract much from their tastiness.
One of the most appealing things about Zen Garden is the price of the food. If you eat in, you can have as much as you like for only £5.50. They also offer a takeaway box that you can fill up yourself for £3. If you’re in London on a weekday, I’d definitely recommend checking this place out! Hopefully you won’t be disappointed.