Good evening all, how was your Christmas? Good I hope. I finally feel like I’ve came back down to planet real life after a wonderful few days. Today’s post is a foodie Newcastle bucket list must visit in 2017 and that is Zaap, Thai Street Food situated in The Gate within Newcastle City Centre.
You might have read me discussing The Gate’s recent revamp here, when I visited Rub Smokehouse. Zaap is another new and exciting restaurant for us north east foodies to try, so that’s what I did last week. The lovely team at Zaap invited me and my boyfriend along last Monday to try a few of their specialty dishes meaning we were going to receive the full authentic Thai experience, plus trying things we would never have chosen from the menu.
So first lets talk about Zaap and their brand values, who are Zaap? The team at Zaap strive to bring it’s customers the best Thai street food with a truly authentic environment and atmosphere. The chefs claim their recipes are true Thai cuisine and can be traced back to their provinces. So basically they’ve transported Bangkok to Newcastle and taken over our street food scene. This restaurant is the third Zaap in the UK of which opened back in August, after their huge first success in Leeds just over a year ago.
Beforehand, I was super excited to try as I just love Thai food plus, I’ve heard lots of rave reviews about the place especially from a few of my veggie friends whom say their needs are catered for accordingly unlike some other Thai restaurants in the area. So I’d pretty much heard fantastic things, not a single bad review and I can now understand why. Myself and my boyfriend arrived slightly earlier than we’d scheduled but went in anyway, the staff could not have been any nicer, almost immediately I was introduced to Mem whom was going to be looking after us for the evening. She lead us to the most amazing table, which was actually the back of a Thai bike taxi (a bit like the ones you see in the movies) and it was fantastic, it felt like our own little den. She provided us with a drinks menu and then explained about the food menu, stating to us how their order process takes place asking us what we’d like to try for our main courses as they’d had our starters and desserts all planned. As I was browsing the menu I couldn’t help but get side tracked as I looked and took in my surroundings, the layout was incredible… lights, decor, tables, decorations, accessories it was 100% what I imagine in my head a Bangkok street to be like, the place is so interesting. My favourite area in the place is definitely the almost open plan like kitchen that unfolds and allows the customers to peek inside to see how the food is prepared and how the team work together to put together the Thai creations.
After deciding to try a traditional Thai Mocktail (I was driving), Mem came over to ask what we’d like and also with our starter which was a sharing platter including a selection of the starters from the menu like Gai Satay aka Grilled Chicken on skewers with a peanut sauce, Poh Paid Tod aka spring rolls, Tod Mun Pla basically a Thai fish cake and Moo Yang aka grilled strips of pork with sesame seeds which was delicious and a chance to try a few different things.
For mains I had the Pad See Aew which is a Malaysia and Singapore version of a chicken stir fry and it was amazing, so full of flavour and juice. My boyfriend went for the Gang Kiew Wan which is Thai green curry, I had a mouthful of his and it was so tasty, there is a strong coconut fragrance throughout making it very more-ish. After we’d pouched the mains I was so full, like literally stuffed but not content with just giving us our mains, Mem then brought out a fried pork dish named Khow Moo Krob Jae Ban which had a strong distinct garlic taste compliment with greens and sticky rice…it was heavenly since I put garlic in everything!
After trying what felt like the whole menu, Mem then brought out more food… desserts. She presented us with again, two more Thai dishes Khow Niew Ma Muang, Ripe Mango with sweetened sticky rice and Khaow Niew Sang Ka Ya, sweetened black sticky rice with Thai custard. I’ll be honest these desserts really are for an acquired taste, not really my kind of thing but I still tried it but won’t be rushing to order those again.
All in all, I LOVE Zaap. I had a great evening there, the food was amazing and the staff were very attentive 10/10 for food and service. The atmosphere is buzzing, along with the authentic interior adding that extra zest to your imagination and experience. I’ll definitely be returning and most importantly, I don’t think it’s expensive.
A huge thank you to the team at Zaap Newcastle for inviting me along, especially Mem.