Nairobi News


Exquisite food and service at Zen Garden

Zen Garden, as the name suggests, is a serene, oriental themed restaurant located in the plush suburbs of Spring Valley.

It is popular for its setting of two very different restaurants in one, giving off that yin-yang aura. The two restaurants are Jade and Bamboo, Jade being a casual all-day coffee house and Bamboo, a secluded area for fine dining.

The fine dining experience at Zen is nothing short of perfection. From the impeccable customer service to the high quality dishes and the sheer beauty of the décor surrounding you, the ambience gives your entire mood a lift.

The Bamboo restaurant specifically offers a mix of Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine so one is quite spoiled for choice when it comes to their elaborate menu of sizzling appetizers, diverse entrees and sumptuous desserts and drinks.


Being my first time here, I had to experiment. It took me a good 10 minutes to decide on the appetizer alone! After much deliberation, my order was finally set; Honey sim sim chicken cubes for the appetizer, Thai green curry and steamed vegetable rice for the main course and pineapple mint juice, which is exquisite.

The appetizer was a healthy serving and very impressive. That mix of honey and sim sim seeds on pan fried chicken is enough to make you not want to order anything else for the night.

Don’t you hate it when you have to limit how much of the appetizer you can eat just to leave space for the main course?

The Thai green curry soon followed, presented in an elegant ceramic bowl, and a beautifully carved bamboo stump contained the steaming rice on the side.

I give them two thumbs up on their presentation skills.

No aroma

The curry, unfortunately, did not measure up as much as my now favourite, honey sim sim chicken. When one thinks of curry, especially curry from the Oriental region, you always think of it as rich in spices and flavour.

This curry barely had an aroma to it. It was a tad dull on my taste buds and I hardly ate much of it.

I really love Thai food so this was disappointing but then again, it could just be my crazily high curry expectations talking.  If it’s any consolation, the rice was good.

I’m not writing Zen Garden off my list of fabulous restaurants just yet because the overall experience was good.

I will definitely return and experiment some more and I’m sure to get my taste buds dazzled. Be warned though, that Zen is a bit on the expensive side so you may want to plan ahead before heading there for a date.

All in all I give Zen Garden a good nine out of 10; a perfect setting, with perfect service and exquisite food.