House of Zen is probably my favourite Chinese restaurant in Belfast, certainly the one that I eat in the most.
The menu above is the lunch menu and the bulk of this review will be referring to Sunday lunchtime, however I have been in the evenings as you'll note when I get to the inevitable mention of taking a date here. The evening menu is broader and the portions larger, and the quality is just as high.
I'd love to tell you about how nice the variety of starters all are but I always order the delicious Signature Starter: king prawns in a light batter on a bed of curry leaves with roasted garlic and sliced chillis, with one oven cooked birdseye chilli just for punishment.
The other starters all look very nice though.
I've sampled a lot more from the mains and I can genuinely say that I haven't had a bad meal in House of Zen. I'm quite fond of the asparagus and ribeye steak rolls, tender steak wrapped around spears of asparagus on a bed of onions and a black pepper sauce.
The Chinese Roasted Duck is another pleasure to sample, and their salt and chilli chicken is fantastic (something I usually use as a barometer for how good a Chinese takeaway is the quality of their salt and chilli).
The restaurant itself is dimly lit in a comfortable way, with well-cushioned chair if you're planning to sit around having a particularly enjoyable date, although the service is always prompt and efficient so you probably won't have any other reason for sitting long. I did however take a date once and the table next to us had rotated through four groups in the time it took us to finish up our conversation, so fair play to Zen that they didn't move us on.
They have a good selection of gins and other spirits available, and a few nice beers too, but sometimes it's just nice to sit back and relax with a nice pot of tea.
Unit 3, St Anne's Square, Belfast BT1 2LR
Monday to Friday, 12-11.30 (Late Friday), Sat 1-Late, Sun 1.30-10.30
St Anne's Square multistory part of same building