Gambas al Ajillo, remember that phrase, praise that phrase, and love that phrase because that is the name of one of the most delicious appetizers you will find at Zen Fusion.

Photo By Angie Baquedano
Photo By Angie Baquedano

Zen Fusion is a fantastic Spanish and Asian restaurant located in Historic Dilworth.

Spanish and Asian, I know it sounds crazy since they are two vastly different types of food, but it’s delicious I swear! I came across this place my freshmen year at UNC Charlotte when my friend’s mother had come to visit we all decided to hit the town and dress up nice. There was a bit of a wait (about twenty minutes), but from what I’ve heard Zen Fusion always and I mean always has a wait, so we got lucky it wasn’t longer.

I was starving at the time and so was my friend and her mom and we began to think maybe waiting wasn’t worth it, but soon after we were sat down and we ordered a tapa, which is just a small plate or appetizer, we realized it was worth the wait. My favorite item to this day has to be the Gambas al Ajillo, and that is a Spanish tapa that consists of sautéed shrimp in garlic and olive oil, and it’s paired with slices of a baguette. Sure the little plate sounds simple enough, but it’s absolutely delectable.

Also, the restaurant is beautifully decorated its modern, sleek and high-end without the horrible price. It’s definitely worth going and the Gambas al Ajillo will make your taste buds ache for them hours after you have already left. May I remind you that the Gambas are also gluten free, which is a plus for anyone with that dietary restriction, but unfortunately it would not suit someone with a shrimp allergy.

Overall it was a delicious meal, and the tapa was a good way to hold three people over while we waited on our entrée to come. So get your nice button ups and dresses on and make your way over to Zen Fusion, you won’t regret it!



Angie Baquedano is the Assistant Lifestyle Editor at Niner Times. She is close to completing her Creative Writing major and Journalism Minor as an Undergraduate and hopes to one day work for The National Geographic Society. When Angie isn’t swamped with homework or working her CNA job she can be found traveling, reviewing restaurants for Charlotte Food Adventures or taking up new hobbies such as painting with oil pastels (It changes depending on what inspires her that week).