Asian food, especially Chinese food has become a commodity worldwide, one of the reasons why we can find so many Chinese snacks on the island and certain items like fresh tuna sashimi and curries are to be found on many menus.
In 2015, Zen Restaurant and Bar, located close to the HATO roundabout, opened its doors. Zen has an air-conditioned inside restaurant and bar and a restaurant terrace area outdoors. The modern interior creates a beautiful calm, relaxing and Asian themed atmosphere.
From China to Bonaire
Michi Zhen the owner was born in China and came to the island when she was 8 years old. Her father left the country to seek a better future for his family. He started in Venezuela but didn’t feel that it would be safe for his family. Later he came via Curacao to Bonaire. Bonaire seemed to be the perfect location for his family, who originated from a small village in the countryside. Michi, her mother and younger sister followed him 4 years later.
A Culture cocktail
Growing up on the island and following her school education here, Michi was influenced by the different cultures on Bonaire combining it all with her Chinese decent. After finishing school Michi immediately started working at the MCB bank as an information service officer, on the island and later on Curacao, where she moved to be with her boyfriend. She enjoyed the change of scenery and even though the relationship didn’t last she decided to stay on Curacao.
But Michi’s mother had other plans for her. She offered her to run a second snack bar they had purchased. Growing up with snack bar owners as parents, Michi and her sister started helping in the business when they were little. With the knowledge that her mother was worrying about her constantly, Michi decided to return to Bonaire after some first hesitations.
ZENS Restaurant & Bar
The snack bar became a success but it was not what she had in mind. Michi wanted to open a modern small and cozy place serving good drinks and good food in a beautiful atmosphere. After some intense searching, she found the location you can find her today, down town in Hato.
Zen Restaurant and Bar ended up to be a bit bigger than planned but Michi is very happy with the result. Zen's reflects Michi’s personality combining the best of cultures, with an Asian, calming and relaxing atmosphere, serving delicious cocktails and freshly prepared food with an Asian touch.
Food and delicious cocktails have always been on the list of her passions. While travelling she loves to taste new things and try to duplicate the recipes. Michi adores her mother’s cooking what she explains to be magic. Her mother can take the whole day to prepare the dinner. Michi is convinced that you can taste the love and passion something she wanted to bring back in her own restaurant and bar.
The Best of all Worlds
Zen's is open Tuesday thru Saturday from 5 – 11 pm. The kitchen opens at 6 – 10 pm. You will find a variety of Asians Best, like homemade spring rolls, wonton soup, noodle soup, Thai curries and sushi next to a juicy steak, a freshly caught fish and delicious pasta dishes.
Zen's has special night like Sushi night on Saturday or Mojito Night on Wednesday and of course a BBQ night on Sunday. Michi will continue to develop new menu items and specials to keep you surprised.