Tried Zabb for the first time last night with two dining companions. Called ahead to confirm whether bringing a bottle of wine was okay, and it was (BYOB'ers take note).
The menu has a *huge* list (several pages) of salads, which excited everyone at our table. We ordered two (stressing that we enjoy spicy food):
Yum Ped - Crispy duck mixed with onion, tomato, cilantro in spicy lime juice.
and a spicy seafood salad (shrimp, squid, mussels, scallops) with mango dressing.
Crispy duck salad was delicious... the duck was indeed crispy (read: fried), and although not a particularly spicy dish, it was well-balanced... the lime juice playing nicely against the sweetness of the duck. Comes on a bed of lettuce, with tomatoes, cucumbers, peanuts, etc.
The spicy seafood salad was just as we'd ordered - aggressively spicy - just what I was hoping for. The seafood was fresh (scallops and shrimp in particular were good), and was served on a bed of green papaya, that was a little too fibrous for my tastes. My companions complained that the dish didn't come together - they wanted more of the mango dressing, as they felt it was just seafood piled on dry sliced papaya.
We also ordered pla goong, a shrimp dish with lemongrass and chilis, that came served on a bed of shredded lettuce. I was a big fan of this... again, an assertive amount of heat, with a nice balance of sweet/sour so you're not immediately aware of the spiciness of the dish. The shrimp used seem of a better quality than I'm used to getting in inexpensive restaurants... much more flavor, and no mealy texture. It should be noted this is another "dry" dish - gloppy sauces were nowhere in sight.
Finished our meal with a flat noodle dish w/ chicken and basil. Enjoyed this, and it helped cool our mouths. Was slightly sweet, but not in that touristy "Ameri-Thai" way.
For dessert... coconut and durian ice cream (ordered separately), which came decorated with lychee fruit, mango, and a fruit that looked like reconstituted raisins (or semi-dried grapes). Durian ice cream wasn't nearly as intimidating as I imagined... I quite enjoyed it. (three of us each ordered ice cream, at $4 each)
Our meal included a thai coffee, and the bill came to $56 pre-tip. Portion sizes were a touch smaller than expected... we'd perhaps order one more dish for the three of us on a return visit.
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