New look Cafe Zen brings out in­ner child

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Life - By LIN BAIYU

Cafe Zen, a buf­fet restau­rant at Fu­tian Shangri-La Ho­tel in Shen­zhen, boasts a new look that’s like a sen­sory jour­ney.

At its mod­ern en­trance is the con­tem­po­rary sculp­ture of “Mr Zen”, the young mas­ter chef with a red body and plenty of pots and pans in his hands and on his shoul­der.

And then, there’s “Ms Zen” sit­ting on the stairs to the sec­ond floor. She is a mod­ern woman with a white body and a dec­o­ra­tive trum­pet.

Ac­cord­ing to the story, Mr andMs Zen met in the cafe many years ago be­fore they fell in love. We can im­age that the rest of the plot goes like a dream: Around the walls, there is an ar­ray of white sculp­tures. They are kids of the sculp­tured cou­ple, with red school­bags on their backs. Cafe Zen has be­come a par­adise to them.

UFO-es­que lights shine from the ceil­ing as the “kids” climb to­ward them. We feel like we’re lunch­ing some­where out in space.

Such a fresh set­ting in­vites break­ing some rules — so we start our lunch with dessert.

The “nip­ple choco­late” takes us back to baby­hood im­me­di­ately, aswe dip a bot­tle’s nip­ple into the choco­late sauce be­fore we slurp. If you do not fa­vor such a sweet taste, the dessert also comes with sauces of matcha, lemon and mul­berry.

Next comes the tube milk­shake: The de­light­ful container draws all our at­ten­tion, dis­tract­ing us from the mango and straw­berry fla­vors.

The next lit­tle cre­ation we choose to ex­pe­ri­ence is the nee­dle-cylin­der puff. This time we are go­ing to play doc­tor: Our “pa­tients” are cream puffs. We are told to in­fuse the mul­berry or vanilla sauce into the puff as a “treat­ment”.

You can mix both sauces if you want to com­bine the fruity mul­berry with some smooth vanilla. The fun of the nee­dle cylin­der makes a puff more than a puff.

The mac­a­roon is a sur­prise, too, served on a mir­ror in­stead of a plate. That pro­vides a top-to-bot­tom view, and the col­or­ful lay­ers are ob­vi­ous, cream with fruits.

Then some en­velopes at­tract our at­ten­tion, which can be used for con­tain­ing mini muffins for take away. En­hanc­ing the art­ful ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing lunchtime, wait­ers and wait­resses wear Zen-style cloth­ing.

Lunch, of course, in­cludes more than the lovely sweets: The chefs also pre­pare mod­ern and tra­di­tional del­i­ca­cies, in­clude dou­ble-boiled soups with home­made taste.

Drinks in­clude in­trigu­ing tomato and cu­cum­ber cock­tails in the seafood area. Other­wise, ask the server to bring you a fa­vorite drink — per­haps a latte in a baby-feed­ing bot­tle, a cute sou­venir you can take home.

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