Hits the Spot!
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!
Price, Tasty food, Very friendly staff
So small it can be a bit squashy, Novel ordering system