Zenses Neo-Shanghai Cuisine at the A-Venue is one FUN place! We heard about this whole Nitrogen cooking gibberish and wanted to check it out for ourselves. At the end of our shoot with their lead chef Johann, we realized that Zenses Neo-Shanghai Cuisine is more than just a place to eat; it’s actually a whole experience of culinary extremes!
First thing people ask me is whether or not the Nitrogen thing is safe. I asked Johann that same question and he assured me that it was completely tested and harmless. The process itself, called Molecular Gastronomy (explained in our other post here), is a scientific discipline involving the study of physical and chemical processes that occur in cooking. In short, it’s taking a look at cooking from a scientific point of view. However, if all that mumbo jumbo of words just confused you and didn’t really assure you of anything, well, this video is proof that I tried their stuff and I have yet to die, bleed from my eyes or vomit excessively… Though I have started hallucinating mildly… but my imaginary friend, Bob the cheese-headed man, assures me that I’m fine.
Seriously, though, there are other places around the world that practice this culinary art of molecular gastronomy, including El Bulli in Spain, Moto in Chicago, Alinea, also in Chicago, The Fat Duck in England, wd-50 in New York, and many more. So really, it’s an international art that’s been brought to the Philippines!
Anywayz, you NEED to try the Nitrogen Popcorn. It’s an off-menu item but was the funnest of them all. You put the popcorn in your mouth and as you try to chew it, it just fills up your mouth with smoke and I really wasn’t expecting that. I think I even had a classy moment where the popcorn in my mouth exploded out a bit prematurely… I swear I’m usually much better at this and was just nervous coz it was my first time…
Also, I tried the Zenses Nitrogen Bacon and Egg Nitrogen Ice Cream… which at first, got me going WTF!!! I know, it sounds nasty as hell and I would never in a million years order this on my own. Now that I’ve tried it, though, I can honestly say that I would totally order it again! Hard to explain, but it has hints of your breakfast in the ice cream, in a good way. The flavors and the sweetness of the dessert meshed really well together and the presentation was impeccable.
We tried a few other things, including Nitrogen Coffee and some of their main dishes. I’d like to recommend that you get their Lychee appetizer! I totally forgot what it was called, but they put some sort of flour or something over lychees and also stuff them with crab inside, then they fry the damn things! It was HEAVEN!!!
So, next time, when in Manila, I would definitely recommend checking out Zenses Neo-Shanghai Cuisine, the one and only place in Manila that provides a Molecularly Gastronomic experience. You’ll be sure to impress your date or you business partners.
*PS Check out our second review of Zenses Neo Shanghai Cuisine with more info, pics andvideos of the other cool and unique dishes available there –Zenses Part 2