Zen Gardens in London, ON

I went here with a friend of mine and had the lunch combination with the Sweet and Sour Lappa (C71), which cost $10.50. The meal came in a bento box with purple rice, some type of tofu thing (at least I think it was tofu), a fruit salad, and of course the sweet and sour lappa.

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The two small pieces of “tofu thing” that looked like mini-chicken-nuggets had a spongy texture but tasted great with the dipping sauce provided. I actually wish the dish had come with more than just two of them.

The purple rice had a grainy seasoning which I thought took away from the flavour of the rice itself. In my experience purple rice tastes plenty good on its own and the two textures didn’t mix very well.

The fruit salad was adequate given what it was. The sour sauce didn’t go very well with the sweet tasting fruit. It was an interesting but for the most part unsuccessful attempt at incorporating fruit into a sweet and sour dish.

Finally, the lappa balls in the sweet and sour sauce were amazing. Apart from the two small “tofu-things”, this was the saving grace of the lunch combination. They tasted like a vegetarian take on small meatballs without trying to hard to create an artificial meat taste. This part of the dish was served on top of mushrooms, pineapple, and a few other fruits. Again, the only big flaw here was the portion being rather small. Should I return to this restaurant in the future I would most likely just get the sweet and sour lappa balls on their own, instead of as part of the lunch combination.

Overall the food was pretty good despite a few shortcomings, including the rather small portions. Additionally, the service was rather slow despite there only being a few tables occupied.

3.5/5.

If you want to try it yourself it can be found at:
344 Dundas Street, London, ON
http://www.zen-garden.ca/

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