Zen Fine Chinese Cuisine – Best Chinese Food Outside China

Hey … did any of you guys see that headline article in The Vancouver Sun on Friday last week? I mean, this one below?


Well, it is a big deal to be called by a New York Times critic as having the best Chinese food outside of China. Suanne and I knew there is this place called Zen but did not give a second glance at this because it is located in upstairs of a very small strip mall at the end of Alexandra Rd.


The article makes very interesting read … see the entire article called “Could a great review save a dining room on the brink?“.

So, Suanne and I are definitely going to check this place out. According to the article, they have a $35 tasting menu. We are planning on going on Friday this week (14-Mar). It would be great if some of you would care to join us. If you are interested, just pop us an email at ben.and.suanne@gmail.com. If that date does not work for you and you are definitely interested, let us know too … we’ll see what we can do.

Suanne and Ben

Here is the full review of our visit to Zen:

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  1. Jessica

    I would love to but I’m working 🙁 Doing piles of OT right now.

  2. RobynT

    sounds great! looking forward to the report!

  3. iluvTWfood

    let us know what you think. i think we put too much emphasis on NY writers or what others think. it’s really a mater of personal taste.

    i’d probably think that the place is good, but so are a lot of other restaurants around vancouver. but the hype will probably lead to disappointment.

    having said that, i have never tried it myself.

  4. pinchichi

    Just a note to say that Jennifer Lee is a NY Times REPORTER and not a food critic.

  5. disappointed

    Love to go but it is not what the article indicates. Prices start at 50.00 kind of unique they put the price at 49.80, 59.80 99.80 138.00 and 288.00 per person .But check it out yourself before inviting a large crowd for your business. It is not all what it seems to be. Look at this “poor” guy on the picture how did he get there./?/? beware

  6. nancy

    VERRRRRY disappointed….
    we read the NYT review and I took my husband there for his birthday with my kids. The entire meal took almost 3 hours!!! In fact, by 2 and 1/2 hours, the kids were so tired, we decided to leave before all the meals were served. The food was OK, nothing to write home about and definitely not worth waiting 30 minutes per dish. For $75 per person (the menu we picked), it definitely was not worth it on my palate. The waiters were sooooo slow–we asked for sake, extra hot, and we received it 30 minutes later at room temperature. I hate to say it, but I don’t think this place will last–I would never go back there again, and I would NEVER recommend this place to anyone. Please save your money and go elsewhere–we were very sorry that we did not go to Sun Sui Wah as we know we would have gotten everything we wanted from there–excellent food, prompt service, and hot sake.

  7. Frank

    I took a business group for dinner the last week of May ’08.
    Based on the recent review my expectations were “high.”
    Our experience was FANTASTIC.
    Every course was an incredible adventure of taste.
    “Best Chinese restaurant outside of China” – YES!

  8. chinese food

    I dont think I can eat anything if that guy is going to serve me… no matter how good the food is…Anyone tried before? Is it really good as they claimed?

  9. Lisa

    The New York Times writer is not a food critic. She grew up loving greasy Chinese take-out and wrote an entire book about Americanized Chinese food. Yes, she’s a good reporter and writer, and her book is very eye-opening. But she doesn’t have a culinary background. Taste is entirely subjective.

  10. Jade

    Hi I am confused! Did they reopen at another location?

    120-12480 No.1 Rd Richmond B.C

    1. Ben

      Hi Jade: That is correct. Zen had reopened on No 1 Road in Steveston. Going there tonight!! Ben

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