Filling the monks’ empty stomach is a very important task, so the Tenzo or chef of a Zen temple is a highly respected person. The duty of being Tenzo is for sure a good chance to develop not only one’s cooking and logistic skills, but also one’s compassion, since most of the time and energy is devoted for others’ well-being.
That’s why I had a this-is-not-really-o.k. kind of feeling, when I discovered a restaurant (Japanese, Chinese and coffee-shop) next to the London Eye. The location is boasting with the name “Zen”, and using a (seemingly computer generated) Zen-circle (Enso) enclosing the Japanese character “Zen” 禅 as a logo.
A real touch of Zen, I experienced later in a small restaurant called “Tokyo Dinner”. It is a truly amazing little piece of Japan, located in London Cinatown. The quality of service and food is on the level (or above) of what I enjoyed in Japan (and hardly ever in Europe), at very affordable prices.
Not mentioning “Zen” anywhere (and possibly even embarrassed by my comparison), you can learn about a Tenzo’s Zen-heart, when you read Tokyo Dinner’s statement “Why no tuna?”. Or if you just go there and taste yourself!