I was first introduced to ZenCha last April, when I met Rosie and Lisa, two fellow local food bloggers, there for brunch. I had totally forgotten about the place (and their weekend brunch) until a couple of weeks ago, when my husband, mother, and I, after heading to the Worthington Farmer’s Market one fine Saturday morning, wanted to go to Northstar Short North for breakfast. But alas, the line was so friggin’ long that when I suggested, “hey, why not go across the street? they have brunch!”, both of them were more than game.
On that first visit, a couple of weeks ago, I played it fairly safe, and got the Masala tea waffles ($9.95). I did like them very much – they were sweet but not too sweet, slightly spicy, and way more than I could eat in a sitting. But this is what my husband got:
I kind of raised my eyebrow a bit, because judging by the description, I didn’t know if it would be good or not. So he offered me a taste. And when he did, I had instant Masala waffle regret and a severe case of Okonomiyaki envy. Yes, they were that good. Great texture contrast between the still a bit crunchy cabbage, the soft batter of the pancake, and the chicken. The sauces (which after some internet research, I’ve found out are a special fermented sauce and also Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise) are what makes the dish. So needless to say, I’ve been having major “Japanese Pizza” (as it is often referred to) lust, and have been waiting for the weekends to roll around to get my fix. Lucky for me, they’re fairly easy to prepare so I may try my hand at a batch of them here at home soon, after a trip to Tensuke to get the ingredients I need.
But I digress – it is a TEA salon, after all. And I, the non-tea drinker, got some tea. I don’t remember the name offhand (it’s the Spring Blend under the Fresh Fruit Medley section of the menu), but I got it over ice, made with green tea, and it was mild, fruity, and paired extremely well with the Okonomiyaki.
My husband opted for the black bubble milk tea. I love bubble tea, but wanted to mix it up a bit this time. I wonder if one can get one of the fruit medley teas with bubbles? If you’ve never had bubble tea before, they are tapioca balls that you suck up through the big straw – they are kind of like gummi bears in texture, with no real flavor.
They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday only, from 10am to 2pm. As you can see, they have lots of choices on their brunch menu, if a savory dish isn’t your thing.
I honestly think it’s one of the best weekend brunch options in Columbus. As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to start making okonomiyaki at ZenCha one of my Saturday morning routines come market season.
If you’d like to go: ZenCha Tea Salon, 982 N. High Street, Columbus (Short North), 614.421.2140