Chefs John Ng and Lina Goh bring an artful eye when concepting and planning dishes for their restaurant, Zen Box Izakaya. John sits down and sketches every idea before translating it into a real dish, ready for customers to enjoy! Because of this extra special attention to detail, both the food and drink at Zen Box is presented in a gorgeous, visual way. This restaurant has been open for 10 years, so it was important for us to highlight the story of craft, community and all things Izakaya for this photo shoot. It is John and Lina’s mission to bring the culture of Japanese Izakaya, which is often compared to as a ‘pub’ kind of vibe. Boisterous, Fun - and a place where anything goes! There is also a bit of a juxtaposition with the cadence of the restaurant. On one hand, there is a slow, simple, methodical and intentional way of prepping and cooking the dishes. On the other hand, the restaurant runs at a chaotic pace during service. We wanted to make sure and capture the difference of this and highlight the ramen through video.

Full Day Catalog shoot - also night time shoot to film the energy of the space.

During their full-day Catalog Shoot, our photo and video teams worked alongside each other to capture the unique menu items, specialty cocktails and the different energies between the food prep and bustling service time. The photos and videos from their Catalog Shoot have helped accommodate some major press accolades, including the cover story in March 2018 for Minneapolis / St. Paul Magazine. The images and motion reel continue to support their website and social media. 

Love from Zen Box


“We get the opportunity to tell the story of our restaurant through photos and videos before a guest ever steps foot into the restaurant"

“The catalog has been great for last minute press and media requests for photos. I can finally be proud of the photos I send knowing they were shot with intention"

“There is a certain level of trust and intimacy that is involved in letting someone tell your story through photos and The Restaurant Project captured the essence of Young Joni beautifully and authentically. ”

— Ann Kim of Young Joni