This week I decided to do things differently and instead of venturing to a restaurant, the restaurant ventured to me. I am no amateur when it comes to ordering take-out but after many less than desirable meals from a couple local Chinese establishments I discovered Zenna Thai & Japanese, a local chain featuring Thai & Japanese cuisine with three locations. I have driven past this particular location (North Dallas) often and they seem to always draw a crowd; this comes as no surprise considering their extensive Happy Hour offerings. A friend of mine turned me on to them after she ordered their take-out one night (morning?) at 2am-they deliver until 3am! Since then this has become my go-to when it comes to take-out.
You have three options when it comes time to place your order: call it in, order on their mobile friendly website, or (my personal favorite) order on their desktop website. This is worth mentioning as today is the prime for mobile friendly ordering. I pulled up their online lunch menu and began my quest for the perfect meal to tame my growing appetite. When I saw their lunches were served in “Bento lunch boxes” I was ecstatic. You can’t quite understand unless you’re a Tupperware hoarder like myself what it means to have an addition to the growing plastic jungle in the cabinet. Spoiler alert: they are not in fact delivered in “Bento lunch boxes”, they are instead delivered in traditional white styrofoam to-go boxes.
The first item I ordered was their Volcano Roll lunch box. This includes a Volcano Roll, a Spring Roll, a small cup of soup, and a minute salad. The proportions were as expected for lunch, if not greater. Much to my surprise when the food arrived the box also included steamed edamame, I was thrilled. The Volcano Roll was fresh & vibrant with color and included crab meat, avocado, cucumber, and is topped with grilled baby scallops, homemade mayonnaise, and a spicy sauce. The Miso soup was still hot upon arrival and included freshly cut carrot, zucchini, green onion, and soft tofu all in a sweet & mildly salty soy bean paste broth. The salad was sprinkled with a ginger dressing and was idle for a first dish. The Spring Roll was just as warm as the soup and was packed with flavor, notably cilantro which heightened the element of freshness.
My favorite thing about this entrée is how it can be customized depending on your taste. You can pick whichever meat you prefer from veggie/tofu, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, combination (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp), or seafood (shrimp, scallop, fish, and squid). I generally opt for chicken but occasionally will choose shrimp. Another favorite about this dish is the size, it’s huge (as you can see in the above picture). If I can get two meals out of one consider it done. This is my first time ordering the lunch portion and even it is greatly proportioned. This lunch also comes in a Bento box style and includes the same Zenna lunch essentials including a Spring Roll, a small cup of Miso soup, and a salad. Sadly this box did not include the steamed edamame. The Spicy Basil Fried Rice includes eggs, bell pepper, onions, fresh chili, basil leaf garnish, as well as cucumber and cilantro. When ordering they ask your preference on the spice level on a 1 to 5 scale, 1 being not spicy and 5 being very spicy. I always select 5.
One area I can always rely on Zenna to master is freshness. Every time and everything I have ordered from them has been nothing less. You can easily get a meal for two under $25. Every location delivers with the requirement you live/work within 5 miles and meet a $10 minimum.
The question is, when will you let Zenna Thai you over until your next meal?
Stay hungry, Dallas.