zaab street food
Since we just moved to Canberra four months ago, I’ll be taking you with me as we adventure through our city’s food scene.
Last weekend, we had date night at Zaab Street Food, Lao-Thai inspired restaurant. We were recommended the place by a friend, and were always walking past the buzz, wishing we went there instead. I also can’t go past a neon sign – marketing genius in my opinion!
We visited on a Friday night, and because we didn’t make a reservation (and because we’re old) we arrived early – like 6pm. The restaurant was empty, with only a couple of people sitting at the bar. For majority of the evening we were one of the only ones there. We were greeted at the front entrance and were seated promptly after agreeing to abide by their strict one and a half hour seating schedule.
We ordered the “Feed Me” option at $59 per person, which included 4 courses. But first, we had to order a Thai Singha Beer as we began reminiscing about our honeymoon in Thailand just over a year ago.
This is what they fed us:
Betel Leaf – Asian leaf variety filled with a flavour bomb of ginger, tamarind, ginger, lime, coconut…
Chicken Satay Sticks
Larb Bites – Thai pork meatballs
Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad)
Duck Red Curry
Pad Si Ew – Stir fried rice noodles with chicken
Mango Panna Cotta
Pumpkin and Pandan infused pudding with coconut cream served with Taro icecream
I have to say, we were both blown away by the authenticity of their menu. I am a massive Thai food fan and am often disappointed by ‘Thai fusion’, however, they fully brought back the Thai experience for us. Our favourite was the Red Duck Curry – probably the nicest curry I’ve ever eaten with a beautiful balance of sweet, spicy and tangy, with superbly tender duck and juicy pineapple and lychee in there too. The papaya salad was the real deal, but be warned, it’s spicy! As we moved through the courses, it just got better and better, finishing off with a banging Asian pumpkin pudding!
The atmosphere was true to the street-food scene in Thailand, with a corrugated iron wall, small tables and stools, and the sweet metal bowls and water cups. The background music was a cool mix of house-dance and a barman rattling his cocktail-shaker. By the time we finished dinner, a violinist and DJ started playing their live-set for a packed restaurant (wish we could have stayed longer!).
To end the night, we made a quick pitstop to our favourite (and the only one we know of so far) whisky bar called Hippo & Co.
Zaab Street Food
Address: Unit 2, 7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT 2612
Phone: (02) 6156 5638
Open: 5pm - late, 7 Days