Now, I’m sure you all know that I like a bit of Zing Zing in my life (if not then go check out this review), so when I got an email inviting me to the launch of their veggie and vegan menu I was pretty excited (but admittedly not excited as I could have been… ‘Chinese restaurant does veggie and vegan friendly meals’ = expected standard veggie curry and stir fried veg, which perhaps unsurprisingly doesn’t get my heart racing). Fast forward to launch night last Tuesday and I was very quickly put in my place by the tasters flying around and ending up in my very merry mouth. We tasted a whole load of items from the new menu, but I’m gonna give a shout out to my standout dishes that really made me reassess the idea of meat-free Chinese food:
Sesame Mushroom Toast
This stuff was the dog’s bollocks, (without the usual fear of dog actually being involved… Juuuuuust kidding). It was like someone had thought of a veggie version of sesame prawn toast, whilst still managing to celebrate the earthy deliciousness of the mushroom in its own right. I could see where the inspo had come from but it didn’t feel like an imitation at all because these slices of crisp toast, deep filled with fresh mushroom, garlic and ginger held their own and I would 100% order these again, perhaps even over sesame prawn toast.
Coconut Dusted Cauliflower
First thought through my carnivorous mind when these showed up: ‘Cauliflower for a vegetarian option… Groundbreaking’. 5 seconds later when I’d shoved it in my mouth: ‘Jesus, well there’s a cheeky side to cauliflower I’ve never seen before’. The florets were crunchy and crispy and the coconut salt sprinkled on top was the PERFECT combination that I never would have come up with on my own. If (when) you order from this menu, you HAVE to get these.
Sweet Potato Rendang
My guest wasn’t a fan of this but I really don’t understand why… The slow roasted sweet potato indulged my carb craving, whilst the curry sauce made from coconut milk, tamarind and lime leaves lifted the dish in a fragrant, delicate way. Personally, I often order Chinese when I’m feeling like eating something naughty and indulgent, so the decision to use sweet potato in this rendang hit all the right spots for me.
Cinnamon Chinese Donuts & Custard
I tried one of these. And then one became two. And two became three. Then at number four the clock struck midnight and I turned into a Chinese donut myself. These fried milk buns are glazed in sugar before being dusted with cinnamon sugar and served up with a custard dip, all making for the perfect ‘baonut’ as Zing Zing are coining them. I don’t feel like there’s much explaining to do here. It’s carbs with sugar and cinnamon… What’s not to love?
After scoffing my way through multiple portions of each taster, I managed to grab hold of founder Josh and suddenly it all made sense. His enthusiasm for what he was creating came across so clearly and it’s obvious a lot of time and thought has been put into creating a veggie/vegan menu that is doing its own thing and not simply imitating traditional Chinese dishes by just replacing the meat/fish element with a vegetable. I didn’t get to try the whole menu but I’ll be ordering some take away because my curiosity has been spiked now as to what other gems Zing Zing have come up with.
- BLACKSTOCK ROAD | 0207 226 6664
Delivering to Highbury, Islington, Finsbury Park, Stoke Newington & More. See Menu
- KENTISH TOWN ROAD | 0207 284 4432
Delivering to Kentish Town, Camden, Belsize Park, Hampstead & More. See Menu
- KENSAL RISE | 020 3745 8686
Delivering to Kensal Rise/Green, Kilburn, Maida Vale, Notting Hill, Queens Park & More. See Menu
- ELEPHANT AND CASTLE | 0203 745 8696
Delivering to E&C, Borough, London Bridge, Lambeth, Camberwell, Peckham & More. See Menu