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News & Birthdays
From Ottawa Foodies:
i'll swear there was a review for their new restaurant (sweet tooth??). In fact, said review influenced my decision not just to come but bring other people, including (gasp) one of those I'm from Vancouver i know good food snobs. (Not really a snob, but i was still a little nervous, haha...)
no divided jury in our party of three -- ZK is a welcome addition, filling several niches:
* its probably the veg'n place i'd feel most comfortable bringing those OF-ers who flag Juniper, WGP and similar as their favs. Attention to detail and nuances, both in service and food. Owners weave themselves among the washed masses, drop by your table, chat and listen, all that sort of stuff.
* its an izakaya-in-sheep's clothing. A third of the menu fall under "tapas", and the mains are easily shared as well, no questions asked. can't think of any other place serving Japanese-influenced pub food: eclectic, something for everyone, relatively healthy, yummy, fun.
* emphasis on local & organic, a theme reflected in a wine list that includes several PEC and organic wines from elsewhere.
* for those wary of the organic trope, a Hello Kitty cocktail awaits your next visit, miaow.
"The food was prepared with "love"
I just want to tell you how much my guests and I enjoyed the wonderful meal you had prepared for us! The service was excellent and the food was prepared with "love". This made the presentation, the taste and texture exquisitely palatable. Some of my guests were absolutely delighted and although many of them are meat eaters, told me that they would be coming back to taste the different food you offer at ZenKitchen. Some were happy to see that there was a "real" vegetarian (vegan) restaurant as opposed to "cafeteria style" ones, where they could come and eat with friends and get table service.
Thank you Caroline and Dave for a most fabulous dinner last night at your newly opened restaurant. Caroline,...the flavours, textures and the whole coming together of the tapas plate were mouthwateringly delicious. Everything on that plate was exceptional and it all worked so well together. The ravioli was also very tasty with all the different tastes and textures, and those particular mushrooms really made the dish. We both enjoyed the dinner immensely and will be back and will be recommending it to our friends and family. Thanks again and good luck to you both!
“The idea of a gourmet vegan dinner was very enticing. Turned out to be absolutely wonderful and one of the most creative dinner experiences I have ever witnessed. Bravo!”
"An awesome gift"
“I was attracted to the dinner because of Caroline’s vision and love of food and people. She has an awesome gift to share. There is definitely a need for this in the city. Keep going!”
Dr. Josee Labrosse, MD
"We will be back!"
“The food was fantastic. I like that the menu isn’t “vegetarian-food”, e.g. hemp cakes with spelt sauce on tofu. I also liked the common table. It was nice that we were all served the same dishes at the same time and could share the experience. We will be back!”
"Wonderful fresh tastes"
"I had never really tasted vegan food before and was interested to try. Thank you so much for a wonderful evening and amazing food - wonderful fresh tastes and aromas and beautiful presentation.”
Jen Rourke, Personal Trainer
"Perfect blend of sometimes surprising flavours"
“I was intrigued by the vegan-ness of the dinner. It is not my regular thing, but I was anxious to try it. It was absolutely magnificent! Beautiful presentation, perfect blend of sometimes surprising flavours, and great value for the price. “
Jantine Van Kregten, Director of Communications, Ottawa Tourism
“My first ever vegan meal… wow! This was truly one of the tastiest meals I have had and an unbelievable value.”
Chris “Jerry” St. Jacques, CFP
"I cannot get over the Mexican Chocolate Torte"
"It’s such a refreshing change not to have to closely screen all of your food. This concept rocks. I cannot get over the Mexican Chocolate Torte - I may be thinking about it for weeks, or at least until the next dinner.”
"A group of friends goes out regularly for dinner to explore different restaurants and food. There are no rules - we have had some good experiences but the last one was fantastic. Really. So much so that I had to share it here. Last night we visited the Zen Kitchen’s monthly vegan dinner at the Chelsea Club with chef, Caroline Ishii. I am not vegan or vegetarian and do enjoy a good slice of beef now and then. I was not sure what to expect. It was an amazing evening - a group meal for the first 40 (?) people who signed up - we couldn’t get in last month. Of the 40 attendees only one was vegan. We had four courses paired with wine from Antonio Mauriello. Chef Ishii, who is not vegan herself, was introduced at the end and answered many questions about her philosophy on food. Highly recommended."
(from harrynowell.com/blog entry #38 Zen, food and veganism on March 30, 2008)
"I want to have more"
"Absolutely delicious. No one would have guessed that the meal was entirely vegan. What can I say - I want to have more and learn more about vegan cooking. Thank you and congratulations!"
"Incredible blend of flavours"
“This dinner was absolutely fantastic and I will definitely recommend it to friends… amazing attention to detail, the incredible blend of flavours, and your generousity in sharing your talent with all of us.”
Moe Garahan, Director, Just Food
"A treasure for food lovers everywhere"
"Your food is delicious. It is clear to see you live and breathe the messages you are sharing: both through your food and your words...
Thanks for this wonderful service you offer; not only for vegetarians searching for some fine culinary dining, but more importantly in the way your work raises the knowledge and awareness about the impact and value of what we eat. You are a treasure for food lovers everywhere, whether vegetarian or just curious."
Patrycja Maksalon, Dragonfly Consulting
Sunday Night Jazz
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