Zen Gardens (344 Dundas Street, London, ON) isn't my typical eatery because it's a vegetarian restaurant, but I have yet to have something there that I didn't find enjoyable. It's a smaller restaurant that seats about 40 people, with simple Asian-inspired decor. It's really easy to get to because it's on the route of the 2 Dundas, one of the most frequent busses here. The menu is comprised of Japanese and Chinese-inspired dishes with vegan and gluten-free options available. The prices are quite decent, and in cases where your meals haven't been too spread out, it's likely that you'll have leftovers.
My initial visit was with my school project group, where one of my classmates, Andrea had a severe fish allergy. Being a vegetarian restaurant, there was no problem for her at all. I have to say that I was very skeptical at first. When I initially moved to London, it was a bit alarming to find that Chinatown doesn't even exist. As well, in the first 2 weeks that I was here for, the only other person of Asian descent that I found lived in the same student residence building as me - the one where all the international exchange students live. Partly due to an immense state of hunger, I gave Andrea the benefit of a doubt, and to my pleasant surprise, it was definitely a good pick!
So, when Meagan mentioned that she wanted to go to Zen Gardens for her farewell dinner, I was totally in.
|Zen Gardens Vegetarian Restaurant in London (beside Budapest, an apparently underrated Hungarian restaurant).|
|If you order one of their bento box style combos, which is about $11 for lunch or $16 for dinner, it comes with a dessert and pot of Oolong tea. It was a nice way to end our evening meal. That, and the little guava candies that came with the bill.|
I have to say that despite the limited Asian population in London and my skepticism derived from that, Zen Gardens is a winner. No, they don't have anything with meat and seafood that's commonly found in Asian cuisine, but if you're looking for more authentic tasting Japanese or Chinese food at a reasonable cost, this is the place for you. Zen Gardens is really worth a try - at least for their tempura and excellent service, if nothing else!