Zap Pt Chev
It’s been one of those insanely busy weeks where the only option was to grab takeout to review, so in between appointments I dropped in at the lovely Zap in Pt Chev.
We are huge fans of the Zap chain and have been meaning to frequent this latest branch. I was sad I didn’t have time to sit in as it was clean and really nice looking, far prettier than many of the places we’ve visited for this blog.
The cuisine is North Eastern Thai, so its nice to see some dishes you don’t see on every Thai menu round town. I ordered Kana Moo Grob – stir fried gailan with crispy pork and garlic ($16); Som Tum – Carrot salad with chilli dried shrimp, peanuts, lemon juice and fish sauce ($10); and Sarm Sahai – stir fried combination of chicken, pork and beef with mixture of Thai herbs ($14) and all were excellent.
Unfortunately if you take out the gailan dish, the crispy pork stays less crispy (I assume it would be served on top of the gailan in the restaurant and therefore not be softened by the cooking liquid). While this affected the texture it didn’t affect the taste and the contrast of the fresh, green and perfectly cooked Chinese veggies was fabulous with the richness of the fatty pork. Despite all health warnings I love that soft pork with a thick layer of fat and crisped rind (or not so crisped in this case). It was a no-spice dish, savoury and comforting.
The carrot salad is a version of the green papaya salad that’s so popular in Thailand. The flavours and textures were wonderful with the crunch and salt from the dried shrimps and peanuts, the umami from the fish sauce, the sweetness of the carrot, the tang from lemon and the bite of the chilli and chilli powder. The only odd thing was the raw bean, which I felt could have benefited a bit from some light blanching as it was a bit tough.
I have to admit that despite its dynamic flavour it defeated me on the spice front. My husband finished all his but it was a bit hot for me. I ate more than I really could because the flavours were so addictive, but next time I think I would ask for a bit less spice.
We loved the Sarm Sahai. The slices of chicken, pork and beef were perfectly cooked and when you opened the container you were greeted with the most wonderful aroma of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Beautifully fragrant are the words I would use for this dish – one of those dishes where you feel like all your senses are being massaged simultaneously.
We are super keen to get back to Zap and eat in. It is definitely the nicest and newest looking out of all the branches and we are looking forward to giving it a whirl when we have more time on our side.