Zin, Trafalgar Road
This is the new kid on the block as far as noodles go and for Greenwich it’s not bad. We already have two other noodle restaurants but frankly neither of them have set the bar very high to potential challengers – I’ve eaten at each once – which in both cases was once too often. To be honest, that bar is still on the floor.
Zin is a tiny little place in a row of other tiny little places, most of which are takeaway curry and pizza joints. Trafalgar Road, always excepting the fab Theatre of Wine and hte new fishmonger’s, is a dreadful, scruffy street with more closed and abandoned shops than actual ongoing businesses – and even in those that are actually open there more takeaway joints than any other kind of establishment. I wasn’t expecting much from Zin.
Inside it’s like a very cheap version of the modern, bright Wagamama chain. There are odd individual tables, but most are joined together. The lighting is bright – as are the tables and chairs, and at least it’s not as seedy as the rest of the road. The menu is much bigger than I had expected – a sort of pan-Asian fusion which includes some Chinese-style classics a couple of Thai dishes and a lot of Japanese recipes.
We were after something quick on the day we went so we didn’t choose anything too fussy. The service is friendly and fast – we had warned the guy we needed to be in and out and he brought stuff as it arrived – much like the Wagamama pattern.
My spring rolls were crispy and light and the gyosa were plump and gingery. So far so good. But whilst my companion’s all-purpose white fish in brown sauce was serviceable, my vegetable rice dish was frankly bland – more like a side dish served in main course-sized portions. But – and it’s a bit But, NOTHING was inedible – a huge step from the other noodle bars we’ve tested in Greenwich where we left most of the ‘food’ on our plates.
I would definitely give Zin another go. I wouldn’t go for the sashimi – you need a top chef and a huge turnover to prevent food poisoning – though from what I glanced of the kitchens hygiene was not a problem. But I would spend longer studying the menu and choosing something nice and tasty.
I guess Zin’s big appeal will be to students from the university and music college down the road, but for the rest of us this is more than the best of a bad bunch in Greenwich. It is a genuine step up.