We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Nice place, shame about the food.”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Zen

Zen
Ranked #16 of 304 Restaurants in Durham
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Families with children, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Brunch, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice place, shame about the food.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2011

The decor is modern and nice... Although a little too much hustle and bustle going on. The staff are friendly but obviously kept too busy to give each table the attention you'd expect for the money. The food could be brilliant but crinkle cut carrots obviously from frozen and bland one-chicken-for-all construction of dishes really lets it down. I won't be going back.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank durham_dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,036 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    485
    315
    138
    49
    49
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,607 reviews
1,215 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 827 helpful votes
“Absolutely awful go to Central Thai”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2011

The food at this place is about as authentic as a packet of Vesta curry,.
The staff are miserable.
The table layout and cutlery are so tacky
Definitely style over substance

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank thefooddood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
151 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“This restaurant has an interesting and tempting menu but is let down by poor service and disinterested staff”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2011

This was our third visit to Zen and on this occasion we were taking our daughter, who is a student at the University, out for a meal to celebrate her Birthday. We arrived at a very quiet time, 6.30pm on Sunday and as a consequence, the restaurant had hardly any diners and was lacking in atmosphere. I would have thought, that as they were quiet, we would have received a warm welcome and good service. Whilst being courteous, the staff weren't particularly friendly or quick to bring our drinks whilst we looked at the menu. I chose Chilli Fish Cakes to start and was disappointed that they were lacking in flavour and rather soggy. However, my choice of main, Peking Duck, was absolutely delicious. There was a good quantity of marinated and sliced duck in a spicy orange curry sauce with grapes, lychees and pineapple, in fact, the portion was so large, I couldn't finish it! I do wonder if this restaurant is properly managed, no-one asked us if we were enjoying our meals and happy with them and there was no evidence of a Restaurant Manager. I would definitely rate this restaurant more highly if I felt the diners were more valued and their satisfaction, more important to the staff.

  • Visited June 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Perfumelady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
94 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Disgusing service - not worth another visit”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2011

I have been coming to Zen from time to time while my daughter is at university and prior to this year it was always a good place to come to - not London standard Thai/Chinese but OK. I even booked Zen for her graduation lunch this year. Well - never again. I came up this weekend to see her and she tried to book to be told "we do not have tables between 5.30 - 9.30 pm. Strange - as it's examination period for students and although not an exclusively student restaurant they do represent many of the customers. We arrived at 5.45. The restaurant was empty save for 2 tables. "Sit at the bar only" was offered to our party of 5. My husband pointed out the restaurant was empty. Reluctantly we were allowed a table "But you must leave in 2 hours". She then had the temerity to repeat it to me and my guests. The food was less than average and more expensive than I remembered. There was no real choice. We were only too glad to leave and never come back. Needless to say I have cancelled the reservation for graduation day.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BGCLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Tasty food in a lovely spot”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2011

I've visted Zen a few times now but always through the day. The menu has a really wide selection of treats for you to sample...I love the prawn toasts and Pad Thai. Nice friendly staff and the location is great. Tucked away in a quiet street, if the weather is good you can sit outside. Lovely ambience inside with diners not squashed in. I'd have no problem recommending this place and will definitely go back for morw.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Les1204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Zen also viewed

Durham, County Durham
Durham, County Durham
 
Durham, County Durham
 
Durham, County Durham
Durham, County Durham
 

Been to Zen? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing