Hello everyone! I recently visited ZEN HOUSE, a wonderful Japanese restaurant located on the basement floor of the Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel in Tokyo.
This restaurant was a very special place that offers a new taste experience by modernizing traditional Japanese cuisine.
The concept of ZEN HOUSE is “Japanese cuisine with a modern twist” or “contemporary Satoyama cuisine. I was impressed by the cuisine, which was prepared from a new perspective, while still keeping in mind the Japanese climate and traditions.
The ingredients used were seasonal and sourced from all over Japan, and their freshness spread to the palate, bringing out the best of the ingredients.
The atmosphere of ZEN HOUSE was very calm and the beautiful Japanese design created a comfortable time.
The meals were not only pleasurable to the palate, but also to the eyes and the mind.
ZEN HOUSE is truly a special place and well worth a visit for a special moment.
I encourage everyone to visit.
Stepping into the restaurant, we found ourselves in a semi-private room separated by a noren curtain.
This allowed us to enjoy our meal in a private atmosphere while maintaining a good distance from other customers.
After passing through a curtain and descending a staircase, a spacious area that blended with modern furniture and natural materials such as wood and stone was opened up.
The warmth of the wood and the texture of the stone in the flooring and furniture were perfect for relaxing and enjoying the Japanese atmosphere.
Spending time here was like being in a peaceful Japanese garden.
The time spent here was like being in a peaceful Japanese garden, where one’s mind naturally calmed down and a moment of spiritual enrichment was had.
At ZEN HOUSE, we found that not only the food, but also the space inside the restaurant filled our hearts with contentment.
Here, the emphasis was on bringing out the true flavors of the ingredients through the minimal cooking methods of “boiling vegetables,” “searing meat,” and “steaming fish.
The vegetables were boiled to perfection, retaining their crispiness and concentrating the flavor. The meat was seared, fragrant on the outside and juicy on the inside.
The fish was steamed to give it a fluffy texture and gentle flavor.
The simple seasoning of salt and soy sauce brought out the flavor of the ingredients and allowed us to savor the delicious taste of the ingredients without any unnecessary ingredients.
The Nichinan Chicken Creamed Chicken was firm yet tender, with a subtle saltiness and a refreshing taste.
The chicken tsukune nabe was soft and fluffy, with the delicious flavor of the broth.
The beef nabe was delicious with the tender texture of beef and the perfect harmony with white rice.
The dashimaki tamago (rolled egg), salted grilled silver salmon, and grilled red fish with saikyo miso were also excellent.
The miso soup was made with Shinshu Nijuwari Koji Miso, and the miso soup with Bimei pork and root vegetables was juicy and rich in flavor.
Western food was also plentiful, and a variety of taste adventures awaited us, starting with fried chicken, then bacon, sausages, yakisoba, shumai, and even a spicy curry.
The first thing that caught my eye was the thick-cut bacon and two types of sausages.
The bacon was aromatic, while the sausages were herbed and had a clean, refreshing aftertaste.
These meat dishes made for a luxurious breakfast that could only be served at a hotel.
Then there were the fried tofu and cheese croquettes. The fried chicken was a perfect combination of crispy batter and chicken flavor, while the cheese croquette was a delightful contrast between the crispy outside and the melted cheese.
The curry was spicy, with a spicy yet clear aftertaste that stimulated the appetite.
At the salad corner, the seasonal vegetables were especially delicious.
The colorful vegetables were centered around Chinese cabbage, and the black vinegar onion dressing added a refreshing sour and sweet flavor.
In the bread corner, the lineup included a variety of mini croissants, royal loaf, rice bread, and cinnamon rolls.
The mini-sized croissants were not too sweet and had a delightful hokum texture.
In the dessert corner, there was a colorful array of warabi-mochi rice cakes, fruits, and almond jelly, as well as café au lait, which is enjoyed by adding hot milk to coffee, spreading a blissful dessert time.
The first item I would like to mention is the aromatic warabimochi. The flavor of roasted soybeans spread in the mouth, and the tender texture was superb.
Next was the dessert corner where fruits lined the shelves.
Fruits filled with nature’s bounty colored the healthy breakfast.
And then, the almond jelly.
Characterized by its tenderness, the smooth texture and flavor of the almond jelly filled our mouths.
The crisp flavor was perfect for after dinner, and was the perfect dessert to end the meal.
As a drink to complement the dessert, we added hot milk to coffee to make a café au lait.