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“Good addition to St. Anne's Square” 4 of 5 stars
Review of House of Zen

House of Zen
3 St Annes Square | Cathedral Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland
+44 28 9027 8688
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Ranked #69 of 778 Restaurants in Belfast
Price range: $8 - $28
Cuisines: Chinese, Dim Sum, Contemporary, Asian fusion
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night, Private Dining
Description: Cocooned in the Heart of the Cathedral Quarter is the newest addition to the Zen Restaurant Group, the Cool and Elegant House of Zen. The House of Zen blends a little bit of The Orient into the Traditional cobbled streets and cosy bars of the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Good addition to St. Anne's Square”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Remember when Cathedral quarter consisted of a burnt-out arcade, the John Hewitt, Nicks warehouse and some gay bars? It wasn't even called the Cathedral quarter... how times have changed.

Now we are completely spoiled for choice in Cathedral quarter with many many restaurants joining Nicks: The Potted Hen, Salt bistro, 4th wall, Made in Belfast, Coppi, Hill street brasserie, The Merchant, Ramada encore, 2 taps, 21 social, the Mac, ... even the Spaniard has decent food!

Many of these would feature in anyone's top 10 places to eat in Belfast, and joining them is House of Zen, expanding the Fung empire right in the best place of all - St. Anne's Square.

The original Zen in Adelaide street (sharing it's kitchen with the excellent Haka noodles) was focussed mainly on Japanese food, which it did very well - rivalled only by Sakura and Ginger Tree. House of Zen goes back to the owner's roots and is firmly Chinese - although retaining a few classics from original Zen, such as the deep fried angry crab.

The interior is modern and classy and a bit dark. The food is modern and classy as well, but presentation is a touch better than original Zen. I had the angry crab, and it was presented in a little basket with a corriander leaf - in original Zen it's on a plate with a fork. Tasted the same, which is a good thing. My partner had the house special starter of prawns which she raved about.

Her main was a bit dull - bog standard Chinese black bean sauce. I had the lamb hoi sin pancakes, something I've only had before about 15 years ago at 3am in the Summer Palace behind Laverys. It was good - lamb is a great substitute for Duck imho.

Service was a bit erratic, but friendly and they happily corrected the mistake they made on the bill.

Overall - definitely a great addition to the restaurant scene, and location is hard to beat.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fabulous food and cocktails”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

My family and I were in Belfast for Christmas from Canada. We went out looking for a restaurant on Christmas Eve and luckily found that House of Zen was still open. The service, atmosphere and food was amazing. My partner had 2 Cosmo's which he said were the best he'd ever had. The kids had the Crispy Shredded Honey Chicken which was to die for. While I had the pork belly which was melt-in-your-mouth heaven. We will most definetely return on our next trip to Belfast.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
northern ireland
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“NYE experience....Fabulous”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

My boyfriend and I decided to try here for Nye, I have never been to this zen before but am a regular at the other one on Adelaide street! The menu included 8 courses for £42.50 pp on arrival your were met by the fabulous staff and drag queen! With a winter fruit Bellini showed to the tables which all had party hats banners necklaces and given Asian nibbles! Then the marathon of courses began duck salad served in martini classes, battered prawns with crispy noodles, artic breeze cocktails, Asian salad, seabass steamed roll, juicy ribs, choc brownie and pear sorbet followed by tea coffee chocolates and cava. Everything tasted great and the staff made everything a smooth process also cocktails are amazing must try the signature cocktail. The band was also great will def be back and thank you house of zen for such an amazing night!!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Top quality food in amazing location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

I have been to this restaurant twice now and had a brilliant time on both occasions. The staff are very friendly, welcoming and attentive. They offer a varied menu which, although pricey, is worth every penny. The decor of the restaurant is very cool and if you ask for a booth you really feel like you are in your own restaurant. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone going on a night out after or when celebrating a birthday etc. Good cocktail and drinks menu too.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Birthday party... Great fun!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

our table wasn't ready on time (Other customers who would not vacate a table despite knowing they needed it free by 8:30!). This left a huge number of people standing in the entrance and it was very crowded and uncomfortable. Apart from that we had a great time. Food here is lovely and fresh, service is top notch, central location, easy yo get taxis to/from.
Definitely will be adding this to our list of regulars.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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