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“Rude lady upatairs”
Review of Zensai

Zensai
Ranked #10,919 of 23,024 Restaurants in London
Price range: $26 - $45
Cuisines: Chinese, Malaysian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Camden
Description: Zensai is a family run restaurant specializing in traditional Malaysian cuisine and spicy Indian dishes using fresh ingredients and handmade sauces and cooked in a tandoor. Our award winning cocktail bar serves both classic and signature cocktails and is perfect for pre dinner drinks or post dinner partying.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Rude lady upatairs”
Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

Sadly our visit to this bat was ruined by the bar/cloak room lady upstairs. When some members of our group had finished their drink and were waiting for the rest to finish before buying another she came over and told us that unless we bought a drink right then we couldn't stay in the bar. Not nice having someone watch you drink from the corner and tell you you cannot sit there without everyone having a full drink. Very difficult to achieve as a group of ten or so.

Would not go again as made to feel very uncomfortable

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2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    42
    12
    6
    9
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Friendly, funky and fun”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

Camden is full of bars, so one that stands out is well worth shouting about.

The owner is a larger than life character (in a good way) who goes out of his way to make sure everyone enjoys their time at his establishment and his staff are friendly, helpful and efficient

The menu is flexible enough to cater for either a quick snack or a full meal whilst the bar area is great for ordering and socialising. Happy hour cocktails are great value (the mule in particular!) and the salt and chilli ribs and duck are flavourful and perfectly presented.

You can sit outside - although the space is limited to a couple of tables or just inside watching the world go by (which is where i choose to sit). The restaurant is on an upstairs mezzanine and the bar is on the lower one.

I'd highly recommend anyone trying out this place as a break from wandering around the market - it's far enough away not to be crowded in the afternoon but close enough to the station to be easy which is why I go there!

Apparently they also have themed evenings but I've not experienced them yet.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tour_Manager_PN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely Japanese Food”
Reviewed June 24, 2013

The whole decoration is good, food are not pricey when you have discount code with you, and those dishes are lovely, especially the vegetarian soy teriyaki!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Lokido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Decent bar but poor food”
Reviewed June 19, 2013

Having been to Zen Sai for drinks a couple of times we thought we'd try eating there - and wish we hadn't. Malaysian food is one of our favourite cuisines, but this tasted like cheap supermarket food had been warmed up in a microwave. Very disappointing.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ryan3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Poor service”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I went here recently with a group of friends, fancying something a bit different to the norm!. Upon arriving we were seated at the top of the premises -there is a bar on the floor as you come in- by a friendly waitress. We started by ordering drinks for the table, most of us opted for cocktails persuaded by the numerous drinks awards proudly displayed on the menu. The cocktails were nice, though a little uninspiring, most were pretty standard and could be found on nearly any cocktail menu in Camden,,, slightly underwhelming given the hype. One may perhaps question whether they would still win awards for their drinks menu (note all the awards displayed are from several years ago). Saying that the drinks were nice and during happy hour are a reasonable price, though at nearly £10 a glass at full price, I think I would've been disappointed.

Unfortunately my main memory of the meal (several beers and cocktails make the evening slightly less memorable) is a negative one. After ordering food, I called the waiter back and explained that a friend of mine who had booked the table had forgotten to add our taste cards to the reservation and also added that there is no where on the online reservation to indicate this if he had remembered.

The waitress went to the get the manager, who after explaining the situation again, was remarkably rude and abrupt. He informed us that the restaurant give largely varying sizes to those ordering with a taste card (I'm unsure whether this is allowed in the T&C, but certainly seemed morally wrong to me), and that as we'd already ordered he wasn't going to offer us any discount.

Whilst I understand that you are supposed to inform the restaurant when making a booking of the taste card, I felt the situation was dealt with poorly by the manager, and as such none of us will be going back.

Given that they also advise they reduce portion size, I would recommend those with a taste card looking for a restaurant avoid this place too.

On a food note I had a laksa, which was reasonably priced, although was far from the best Malaysian food I've eaten, and much like the cocktails, I highly doubt they would win any awards now for their food.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank hotfuss88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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