A new Central West End spot is serving up sandwiches inspired by cuisines all across Asia.
Zenwich, which opened June 1 on Euclid in the Central West End, offers Asian-inspired sandwiches and ramen bowls in a fast-casual space. This is the second location of the restaurant; the first was in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst and a third "ghost kitchen" location is soon headed to downtown Chicago.
The namesake sandwiches are the star of the menu, the most popular being the Korean cheesesteak, a take on a Philly cheesesteak made with bulgogi beef, caramelized onions, scallions and mozzarella cheese. Other favorites include the spicy garlic shrimp (lightly battered shrimp, baby arugula, cilantro, sweet and spicy aïoli, garlic crunch) and the Thai barbecue (sliced roasted BBQ pork belly, daikon, carrots, pickled cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro with Thai-style tamarind-fish sauce).
"Every flavor, people are already comfortable with it. And we just put it in a sandwich," says owner Chai Ploenthem
Ploenthem also owns Blue Ocean and at Zenwich, he offers some of the Japanese sushi and ramen restaurant's favorite ramen bowls. The Taiwanese spicy beef bowl is loaded with sliced steak simmered with caramelized onion, fish and soy sauce broth, crushed chile, bamboo and hot chile oil. You can also opt for black garlic and pork bone, spicy miso or The Ocean, loaded with bay scallops, Maine lobster, Alaskan snow crab, spicy miso broth, sweet corn, scallions, cilantro and chile oil.
The restaurant also offers two salads, a small kids menu and sides such as sunomono (pickled cucumber with onion and jalapeño), The Goons (imitation crab rangoons), fries and a housemade wasabi slaw.
Zenwich has also embraced a new trend in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: contactless ordering. Guests can order online ahead of time for pickup or to enjoy on site in Zenwich's dining room or outside at picnic tables. If you haven't ordered by the time you arrive, you can scan the QR code at the restaurant's door and your order will be ready in about 10 minutes.
"I think the future is we eliminate the interaction between customers and servers," Ploenthem says. "We still provide service, but customers can order the food themselves."
Zenwich is open every day from 11am to 8pm.
Zenwich, 8.5 S. Euclid Ave., Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.833.3165, zenwich.com