Chef Nguyen to Launch New Menu July 29th

Zentan Hot Rocks
Zentan Executive Chef Jennifer Nguyen. Photo by Scott Suchman.
Zentan Executive Chef Jennifer Nguyen. Photo by Scott Suchman.

Washington, DC (July 24, 2013) Zentan’s recently installed executive chef, Jennifer Nguyen, will unveil her complete new menu July 29 after joining the restaurant in the spring. Having worked in award-winning restaurants including Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Iron Chef Morimoto’s Morimoto and San Francisco’s Ozumo, Nguyen is bringing new Japanese influences to the Kimpton Donovan House hotel restaurant’s modern Asian concept, including cook-at-the-table hot plates, playful nigiri, and a series of James Bond-inspired maki.

The new dinner menu features a mix of shareable small plates, including:

–  Cold Plates: Cold plates include a variety of appetizers and salads, such as a seasonal white fish ceviche with a kick of morita chili water and house-made ginger crisp; dino kale salad with roasted cauliflower, fuji apples, red grapes and ginger miso.

–  Robata Grill: Using a variety of skewers to complement the delicateness and heat requirements of various vegetables, fish and meats, robata grill offerings include kinoko bacon-wrapped mushroom skewers with ponzu sauce; gindara grilled cod with pickled daikon.

–  Hot Plates: Seafood, vegetarian and meat options abound, including a melt-in-your-mouth miyazaki beef, which you cook at the table using hot Japanese river rocks; pekin chicken with bao buns, black garlic hoisin and cucumber; crossroads tacos with kalbi marinated skirt steak served on soft tacos with shaved cabbage and jalapeno.

–  Nigiri and Sashimi: Sustainably harvested offerings include beni toro salmon belly with yuzu kosho and sesame seeds; kago buri hamachi with daikon oroshi and a ponzu gelée; hotate Japanese scallops with lemon preserve, sea salt, kinome and candied lemon; what the foie? seared foie gras with maguro, mango miso and basil seeds.

–  Maki: Named in honor of the Donovan House’s spymaster history, these adventurous rolls include the octopussy with sake, blistered shishito peppers, gobo, seasonal mushroom, furikake, kiwi, crispy shallot and lemon miso; the golden eye with sweet potato, seasonal mushroom, taro root and avocado dressing and a 007 with hamachi, avocado, crispy shallot, cilantro, yuzu, tobiko and miso yolk.

–  Lunch Offerings: In addition to many of the plates listed above, the lunch menu includes Chef Nguyen’s seasonal pho; a duck reuben with gruyere, mizuna and Korean kimchi served on rye with mixed greens; lemongrass chicken banh mi with cilantro, cucumber, kewpie and jalapeño served with mixed greens; and a Bento Box series pairing popular rolls with seaweed salad.

The menu is also complemented by a far-reaching sake program developed in collaboration with Kimpton Master Sommelier Emily Wines, including tasting flights. The new menu is complemented by a sake program featuring 25 distinctly sip-worthy offerings, including junmai ginjo and daiginjo, nigori, namazake, shochu, specialty sakes and umeshu plum wines ranging from $6-25 per glass. Happy hour is 3-7 p.m.

The latest menus are available online at

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