Walking through Nottingham on a drizzly Sunday night a few weeks ago, we decided to stop somewhere for dinner. Zaap was bright and lively looking and I've wanted to eat there since they opened before Christmas. It was a bright assault on the senses when we walked in out of the cold dark night. The place is busy, colourful and noisy.
Zaap's primary focus is Thai street food, served in an informal, street food style. So, despite being in a modern building on the edge of Nottingham's inner ring road, it looks (and feels) like a busting street in the centre of Bangkok. Clever use of street signs, an open kitchen and props including tuk tuks and part of a tube train (no kidding) make this place feel alive!
As we were dining during our month of eating a pescatarian diet, we were limited to the veggie and fish options, although there were plenty of them. I have to say this was probably the first time I really missed eating meat - there were so many amazing meat dishes I wanted to try so I'll definitely need to go back and try them all.
As is customary, dishes are all served together so our starters and main course came together. It makes for a really sociable eating experience and I'd love to go back in a big group. We chose two starters and a tom yum soup to share.
The soup, Tom Yum Mor Fai (ต้มยําาหม้อไฟ) was absolutely delicious and perfect for two to share. They gave us bowls but to be honest, we just dove straight into the traditional pot it was served in. We opted for prawn and seafood and it was hot, sour and spicy with big juicy mussels, prawns and squid. I loved that they hadn't toned the spiciness or the strong fish sauce flavours down. It tasted totally authentic and very moreish.
Feeling brave after our spicy Tom Yum, we chose two of the least westernised dishes on the menu for our dessert. The first of these was Bua Loy Kai Wan (บัวลอยไข่หวาน) - silky dumplings in a sweet warm coconut broth with a poached egg. Yes, I said a poached egg! The dumplings were certainly a strange consistency but the strangest thing was just how unshackling the egg was. The runny yolk worked well with the broth and although I didn't love the pud, it was certainly interesting!
We also shared Khaow Niew Sang Ka Ya (ข้าวเหนียวสังขยา) - sweet black sticky rice with thai custard. The custard was set, almost like a thick mousse but with a flavour of jasmine which was lovely. The rice had a slight salty tang to it which I also enjoyed. This was our preferred pud of the two.
The bill for two starters, mains and puddings plus two beers was a staggering .... £33!!!! Yes really. Absolutely crazy prices, I don't know how they do it. We will be back. 100% we will be back.