Richard Sandoval: Special Diet Menus at Zengo

Richard Sandoval‘s Zengo is for parties and celebrations.

Why is it so perfect for large groups? — Specialty menus.

Vegetarian? — You’re covered.

Gluten-free? — You’re covered.

No one has to dig around the regular menu to find dishes that fit their diets.

Zengo’s menus ranges over Asia and Latin America and have so much fun, crunchy food to offer, no one will be left out. Super Chef recently tried the New York City outpost of Zengo to check out these specialty menus – there are more locations in Denver and Washington DC.

The New York outpost is in a cavernous hall, made more intimate with a drop ceiling of wooden beams, and a modest amount of light (read: bring a flashlight for the small-print menu). There is constant music but not enough to drown out conversation

If you are ordering off the Gluten-Free menu (or the regular menu), try the Peking Duck-Daikon Tacos. Instead of the traditional pancakes, the thin daikon slices hold tender duck confit and a sweet orange-coriander sauce. Super Chef also likes the Chipotle Yellowfin Tuna Roll, that tasted like a good Japanese restaurant version. All the dishes arrive on lovely rectangular plates with either chopsticks or cutlery.

If you are ordering off the regular menu, then pile on the wonderful small plates, but start with the warming bowls of Thai Coconut Chicken Soup or Hot & Sour Soup with foie gras-pork dumplings — both of which come in little covered lacquer bowls. Then try the crunchy Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps flavored with chorizo, cilantro and tamarind chutney. Slip a spoon or two into a lettuce leaf and dip into the chutney for a spicy, crunch, salty and sour balanced bite. They are on both menus.

Finish the meal with traditional Churros with a dark chocolate dipping sauce and excellent coffee.

Photo Gallery:
Zengo New York

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