Fried Rice is the Saving Grace at Zengo

Zengo front door, NYC

Here on ML we’re always on the prowl for the best new lunches, so when any new place opens you know we’ll be stalking the lunch menu. So naturally we’ve been following all the talk about Zengo, the fancy pants Asian fusion tapas spot that opened last week (on 3rd Ave. btw. 40+41st). But is there anything for the Midtown Lunch’er? Good news: Yes there is! The bad news? That the news is only good if you’re on the hunt – who isn’t? – for Midtown’s next best place for amazing fried rice.

Zengo’s lunch menu is pretty much entirely out of the ML price range (except for some dim sum-type items, soups, and vegetarian things) but one $8 dish caught my eye: Zengo’s wok fried rice with pieces of duck, shrimp, pork, egg, snow peas, carrot, and scallions. You know I’m always on the lookout for bibimbap (AKA Korean rice bowls), but after trying Bann Next Door’s fried rice, I knew I had a new food obsession to occupy me: Fried rice.

Zengo wok fried rice

I didn’t think I could be so happy with a plate of rice. The dish has a great mix of textures and a smokey wok flavor. Plus, there’s a lot of fluffy scrambled egg, fresh shrimp, and cut-up vegetables to give every bite a nice crunch. There was something green and meaty in every mouthful. Everything but the kitchen sink went in this order and, for the extra $$, it’s totally worth it if you love fried rice. (And definitely an upgrade from Mee’s, my goto fried rice in the area!)

Zengo, 622 3rd Ave. (40th St), 212-808-8110‎


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