Zengo

Meaning ‘give and take’ in Japanese, Zengo, recently launched at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa. The striking restaurant, bar and lounge welcomes you from the moment you enter — you’ll be greeted by a friendly, well-dressed gent. After asking us if we had a reservation, the host politely asked for our details (name and number) so he can log it onto the system for effi cient payment and bookings in the future. Upon entering through the imposing door, a stunning fl oating staircase awaits to take guests up to the open-plan space. The contemporary venue features an artful blend of Asian styles and fl avours and is decorated in deep rich natural textures and warm tones. Guests could choose to sit in one of Zengo’s three bars, each with its own unique theme — Mist, Fire and Smoke. We opted to sit at the outdoor Fire bar to enjoy the views of the resort and pool area. Drinks suggestions from a friendly American host were welcomed, with tips on premium mixed drinks based on our individual tastes. The bar areas are represented by a signature  beverage on the menu, which features innovative approaches to classic hand-muddled drinks as well as fi ne grape and plenty of shorts. It also has a fi ne selection of high-class Chinese teas. In the mood for something sweet and fruity, we ordered a Dutch short with fresh guava, lychee and kalamasi from Asia, priced at Dhs75, which went down nicely. On the terrace, Fire bar lives up to the theme, featuring a unique fl ammable bar counter that can be lit to create a real sense of theatre, which the barman was happy to demonstrate, despite there only being fi ve other customers seated around it. Zengo’s vibrant décor, indoor and out, offers a stylish yet relaxed setting.On our visit the (very new) venue wasn’t overly busy but the chilled beats of resident DJ Alexis were welcomed after a long day in the offi ce. Given time, there’s plenty ofpotential for this venue to get rather lively at the weekends. It’s a venue we certainly plan to frequent  regularly — and suggest you should do the same.

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