Japanese style food and drinks along with gift-ware and groceries in a fun Izakaya like atmosphere. Food is all vegan. All dishes under $3.50. Re-opened Oct 2013 after brief closure. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan, Japanese, Take-out


First Review by Oscillate Darkly

THE place to go in the area

5 Posted on 04 / 19 / 2014

Vegans and meat eaters will all have a happy belly after dining at this place. The concept is great: yummy Japanese tapas in a cosy room where you remove your shoes to kneel down to your table. The owners are really cool and fun people too, be prepared to clap your hands on the music!

Pros: concept, decoration, variety of food
Cons: no Japanese alcohol (sake...)

Great food & atmosphere

5 Posted on 03 / 20 / 2013

We ate dinner here twice during our visit to Coffs Harbour and absolutely loved it! The food is tasty and very affordable. The restaurant has an authentic Japanese atmosphere, and the owners are lovely (and both vegan.) Highly recommended!

Pros: price, taste, atmosphere
  • FunkyLoveBunny FunkyLoveBunny

    Arigatou Gozaimasu - Thank you very much :)


Hits the Spot!

4 Posted on 02 / 18 / 2013

Zen Japan is a brand new offering in Coffs Harbour - and along that part of the NSW coast. Opened in late 2012, we found the place almost full on a mild evening in mid-Jan 2013. That's not that hard to achieve, however; Zen Japan is tiny. As the photos show, (no more than 25 or so) guests sit on a raised wooden floor on some cushions, eating off low tables. In fact, it's a pretty good indication of what Japanese inns are like.

All food is strictly miniature in size and in price, but is very Japanese in flavour. The food is supposed to represent the types of beer/sake accompaniments that the Japanese would enjoy at a Japanese bar, the only difference being that all of it is vegan! Everything is bite-sized, so guests are supposed to buy a range of nibbles and fill up in that fashion.

There are three noodle dishes; three tofu dishes; different types of rice balls; and even some green soy beans (edamame). The prices are all rock bottom (from $2 for a rice ball), and by getting four or five of these little treats, one can fill up one's stomach with authentic Japanese flavours.

Zen Japan is enchanting in that it really is a piece of Japan in very un-Japanese Coffs Harbour. All in all, it is definitely worth a visit, even just so that you can feel like you've been to Japan without having to get on a plane!

Pros: Price, Tasty food, Very friendly staff
Cons: So small it can be a bit squashy, Novel ordering system
  • FunkyLoveBunny FunkyLoveBunny

    Really glad you enjoyed it, thanks for taking the time to share with others. Yes your right is it a bit small and squishy but we wanted to give it that tiny Japanese izakaya feel. We have upgraded our tables now with only a center column so that is a bit easier to sit


You Have To Try This!

5 Posted on 01 / 15 / 2013

Great, friendly service & fantastic food!
I cannot recommend Zen highly enough!
Updated from previous review on Tuesday January 15, 2013

Pros: Price, Intimate, Service
  • FunkyLoveBunny FunkyLoveBunny

    Thank you! We really appreciate you spending the time to spread the word



5 Posted on 01 / 03 / 2013

This little izakaya-style eatery announces its intentions at the door, with a sign proudly proclaiming that only clean, healthy, vegan Japanese food will be served inside. It lives up to this promise swimmingly, with a large selection of udon, vegetables, soups, japanese teas and the best selection of onigiri (rice balls) I have tasted outside of Japan.

The staff are friendly and attentive, happy to share stories about Japan as they serve customers from the bar.

All dishes are < $5 and you simply order a selection at the bar, then relax on the cushioned floor seating and eat your meals in waves. My recommendation is ordering a selection, then eating them before ordering another round. Though they serve no alcohol, you are allowed to bring your own at $2 corkage per person - that covers you for the whole evening.

All in all, highly recommended with amazing staff and delicious food. Remember to bring cash to make paying for the rounds of food nice and simple, and take your shoes off (as per proper Japanese style) before stepping onto the seating floor.

Pros: Friendly staff, Excellent food, Great value
Cons: Its not in Sydney
  • FunkyLoveBunny FunkyLoveBunny

    From Emi & I, we can't thank you enough for your review and we are thoroughly please that you enjoyed and understood the concept behind our little store



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Last updated: 2014/08/11


Added: 2012/12/30


Added by: Guest