New look Cafe Zen brings out inner child
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.