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“Good chinese in downtown Portland”
Review of Zen Chinese Bistro

Zen Chinese Bistro
Ranked #183 of 642 Restaurants in Portland
Cuisines: Chinese
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I went on a very quiet weekday very late for lunch/early dinner. My first time after reading a decent review. I was greeted and served promptly and courteously. At $3- the vegetable soup was piping hot and satisfying, with lots of fresh veggies. The wide-noodled entree with veggies and tofu was fairly bland, and I found the celery and bok choy to be not very tender. Otherwise, the dish portion was generous and everything was quite fresh. I would go back. This is not your run of the mill chinese restaurant- fresh ingredients and less fried "bad for you" food. The atmosphere was modern with almost no obvious Asian influence, but it was pleasant and clean.

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Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 - 65 of 74 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2013

Finally a Chinese restaurant in Portland that is good !
I have been several times already with my husband & friends for both lunch & dinner .
There has been nothing as good for decades . We have tried a wide variety of items & found them all fresh , well prepared & generous . Great soups . The hot & sour is a perfect consistency ( not goopy ) & flavors are balanced . General Tso's is very thinly breaded large chunks of white meat . Stir fries have perfectly cooked veggies & lots of quality proteins with some surprises like the seaweed in the garlic scallops. Yum ! Lovely , large shrimp in the light , fluffy house fried rice .
The only thing that I wasn't thrilled with were steamed dumplings . The filling was too much like a spring roll . Not enough depth of flavor . Looking for shitake & deep greens or something new & awesome . A little more refined tea might be nice also .
The atmosphere is tasteful & there is a nice city street view .
I think they are still working out some of the servers issues. A little unpredictable & rushed at times .If they keep working on the training & don't ever let the quality & flavors slip on the food & all will be well for a long time ! You must ask if you want spicy hot . They don't ask you.
I think I need to go again soon ....

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Thank MainePerfectionist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

A friend suggested that we give this place a try, and we were pleased that we did. I have been back a few times, and have consistently had tasty and well-prepared food. The menu has the standards (General Tso's chicken, etc) which I have yet to try, but would recommend any of the duck or salmon dishes. Also had the walnut shrimp, which was wonderful. The decor is quite nice, and the service was good. Finally a great Chinese restaurant in town.

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Thank TravelWellMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2012

The food here is as bad as every other Chinese restaurant in Maine. Overly sweet sauces, overly fried food. I feel as though I have swallowed lead. Service is abysmal. Not an experience I will repeat.

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1  Thank Mainewanderer12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012

I am from the Boston area and lived outside of NYC ---- so have had some great Chinese food. I have lived in Maine for over 10 years and have been so disappointed with the terrible Chinese food - until Zen arrived.
We enjoy eating upstairs in the lovely dining room, but sometimes like to be around the bar where there are tvs so you can take in a football game. The service has always been excellent - and the owners are always there so if there is a problem, they will happily take care of it! We have taken out food, too, which is packaged well and still as generous (portions) as when you eat in.
We have had a number of the appetizers, noodle dishes and entrees and have enjoyed them all. The dishes are flavorful with ample portions of fresh food; the vegetables, meats and fish are all fresh - something that the owners take pride in.
Also - the cocktails are terrific!
As you can see - we have been here a number of times sometimes as a couple and sometimes with friends. We love Chinese food and couldn't be happier!

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1  Thank ded1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina C, Owner at Zen Chinese Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2012

Dear Valued Customers,
Thank you for taking your time to write a great review for us. At Zen, we take pride on every review, no matter if it is a great one or a not so good one. We try our best to work hard to deserve the rating you gave us. But most importantly, we take appreciation and great considerations on the reviews that are not so good to make improvements. Your review us greatly appreciated and please visit us soon.

Thank you and Happy Holidays from the Zen family...

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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