I have heard a lot of good things about the Bangkok restaurant chain Zen, primarily known for its large selection of Japanese dishes. When I saw a Zen restaurant in Bangkok’s Central World shopping plaza, I therefore did not hesitate many minutes before I ventured inside.
The interior was really stylish in that underplayed Japanese way, and the waiters were nice and quickly presented a bunch of menus with lots of tempting images. I was at Zen around noon, so I ordered their sashimi lunch set, which also included chawan mushi, which is a kind of steamed egg custard, which you often have along with your food in Japan.
Unfortunately, the food turned out to be really bad, and yes, I know, that one should not expect too much from a chain restaurant sashimi, but what I had was almost inedible. The salmon was tough and sloppily cut with residues of scales, and the tuna needed chewing for several minutes before I was able to swallow it. Everything had this really fishy taste, so I decided to leave almost all of it on the plate and complained to one of the waiters that the food quality was unacceptably poor. Sadly enough the waiter just smiled and answered evasively, so I paid for the food and walked out as quickly as possible in order to find something, which could take away the bad taste in my mouth.
Afterwards I found out that the Zen-restaurant I visited was called Zen Cucina and was supposed to be an upscale, more luxurious spin-off from the ordinary Zen chain, which makes it even more strange that the food was so bad.