Restaurant Review: Richard Sandoval’s Zengo

* Before you continue reading, do not judge my pictures in this post. I forgot to take my beloved Sony G-Lens camera, so all of the pictures were taken via my iPhone 4S (they didn’t come out THAT bad!)

I haven’t written a Restaurant Review in a while, not because I’m lazy but because I’m a bit too poor to be fine wining and dining. However, it’s always nice to indulge once in a while! I recently went to Zengo with my boyfriend, which is a Richard Sandoval‘s restaurant right around where I live. I was intrigued by the restaurant because it is categorized as Latin-Asian cuisine and I’m a huge fan of fusion food. If fusion cuisine is done properly, it can be really tasty. I was also intrigued by their vegetarian menu as well as veggie options throughout their main menu- EXCITING! I had also read reviews online and all were generally positive. My boyfriend called on the day of just a few hours earlier and made a reservation for 8:00pm.

We arrived to a beautiful restaurant that had a very chic yet rustic feel- antique style chandeliers surrounded by oak furnishing and dark leather chairs and booths. The restaurant had a hint of blue throughout. It was HUGE- great for large get togethers or dates! I really like restaurants that are bustling, loud (but not too loud) and have a friendly ambiance. Makes my night more comfortable and fun! We were seated at a round booth (which was actually meant for 4) right under the large antique chandelier- I highly approved of our seat.

Quick Rates (1-10, 10 being the best):

  • Food: 7
  • Beverages: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Ambiance: 9
  • Price: 6

The Menu: Even though Zengo has a separate vegetarian menu, there was sadly only one vegetarian entree available. But there were plenty of appetizers and side dishes to choose from.

The Drinks: I had a difficult time choosing because everything looked so yummy!! I finally decided on the Tamarind Margarita. Even though I HATE tequila, Margaritas aren’t bad- the tequila taste is masked by all of the other ingredients/ I also LOVE tamarind (I’m a FOB at heart come on, how could i NOT love tamarind?!) Anyways, the drink was super yummy- rimmed with a cayenne-salt mixture, obviously I liked this! My boyfriend ordered a glass of very high-quality Saki that mingled well with all of the dishes we ate.

The Food: For our appetizers we ordered the Vegetable Pot-stickers and Shitake Mushroom Arepas. Both were very good and you can tell with each that both were made with high quality ingredients. The pot stickers were cooked perfectly- not too hard or sticky, as you might experience with regular vegetable dumplings/pot stickers. The arepas were a little different than what I mad imagined- they were open faced arepas, topped with the mushroom-scallion sauteed mixture. Also very good.

The Dessert: I usually order something chocolatey because I AM a chocolate feen (I’m disappointed in you if it wasn’t obvious by now), but we actually went with the waiter’s suggestion of the Dulce de Leche Pudding with Coconut Macaroons & Banana Cream- I agreed to this because Dulce de Leche is a close second favorite to chocolate. Anyways, the pudding was amazing- smooth, creamy, and soooo dulce de leche-y. The banana cream was light and not overpowering, and the pudding was topped with small caramel-chocolate balls which added some texture and fun to the dish. Everything went splendidly with the mini coconut macaroons- basically I was in heaven. YUM.

The Service: I think a particular type of service during your dinner can make or break your experience. In this case, the service was great- always attentive, friendly and listened to my multiple requests- less oil, extra chilies, hot sauce- yes I can be EXTREMELY annoying. But hey, I am paying the price for the food AND the service. I am also very particular about the type of service I receive, but Zengo pulled through!

Read More of my Restaurant Reviews!

Fresco by Scotto

South Gate at the Essex House

Celsius at Bryant Park (Winter)


7 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: Richard Sandoval’s Zengo

  1. Thanks for review! A totally off-topic question but what is the lip color you are wearing in the picture above (beautiful pic btw) — would love to know if its something I can pick up easily

    1. haha thank you so much! Its Make Up Forever brand (from sephora) i’m not sure what the name of the color is, but I’m sure you’d spot it if you go to sephora (its SUPER bright) haha.. thanks for stopping by!!

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