Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peru to Malaysia Test Kitchen at Zengo

Richard Sandoval's Zengo at the Santa Monica Place does a different "Test Kitchen" menu every once in a while, and the latest is a Peruvian Malaysian take. Malaysian food is very similar to Indonesian so I wanted to check this out! The Test Kitchen items are indicated with a "TK" to the left of the item's name on the menu.

I like the entrees on this TK menu. Try the Char roasted halibut, ginger chile marinade, crispy lentil rice cake, sambal butter sauce, charred banana leaf ($25)

The halibut was nicely cooked, sitting atop the aromatic banana leaf, and I liked that sambal butter! It's not that spicy as far as sambal goes but definitely packed some spices.

I also enjoyed the Arroz con Mariscos, mussels, scallops, calamari, shrimp, yellow curry, Malay rice, Thai basil ($14)
This seemed more Thai than Malaysian with the curry broth, but nonetheless it's a flavorful and comforting dish for the cold weather. The two dishes above are probably my favorites of the TK menu.
The sushi TK item is basically a take on the Peruvian causa, or as they described it: Spicy Crab Potato "Sushi" with avocado, Malay curry, crispy corn cancha, soft Peruvian purple potato cake ($9)
It had a good ratio of potato to toppings.

You can hardly talk about Malaysian food without satay, so naturally there's the Chicken "a la brasa" satay, black bean glaze, cucumber rocoto salsa, toasted peanuts, potatoes huancaina ($11)

The dessert was profiteroles that are supposedly filled with lychee ice cream, though I tasted vanilla ice cream.
The Peru to Malaysia Test Kitchen menu will be available at Zengo until December 31st.

395 Santa Monica Pl
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 899-1000


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