Thai Road Foodstuff at 9Zaab

The khao mun gai at 9Zaab in East Cambridge. (Photo: Tom Meek)

A whole lot of Asian eateries in Cambridge – and across the United States – target on a narrow established of staples that attractiveness to mainstream tastes. (General Tso’s something, for occasion.) When it comes to Thai, you have got your crucial gentle-ply spring rolls, fried golden bags, pad thai noodle dishes, rooster satay and so on. They are all delectable and attractive if finished suitable, but you have to love the places to eat that go to the next amount and throw at you spicy basil kapow (floor meat, seafood or tofu atop rice and soaked in a basil and chili pepper sauce – kapow!) or tom yum regardless of what (a spicy fish and tomato foundation as a soup or rice dish). At 9Zaab, administration goes to the future, following level and possibly 1 right after that. The menu is billed as avenue foodstuff, but its assortment would almost certainly encompass each avenue from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. The food items planning and services are also on point in a space that is deceptively unassuming.

My previous take a look at to 9Zaab was a lunch outing, when there is an give that lets diners choose an appetizer and rice dish at a established value – in other words, one thing you could get anyplace, whenever. I decide off the principal menu and fake the just one for lunch doesn’t exist.

My previous excursion in, I ate nicely and was rewarded by beginning with an sufficient serving of delicately fried curry fish cakes (I imagine tilapia or a red fish) with onions and veggies. It will come with a amazing cucumber sauce that properly cuts and accents the curry spice. It is not something I would generally get, but I’m glad I rolled the die: When you dig in, it’s tough to stop,  and I’d make it a typical starter on foreseeable future visits.

For my key I experienced the khao mun gai, a poached hen in broth served more than moist, fluffy garlic rice with a brown peppery sauce to drip on to. This was some of the tenderest hen I have ever experienced, and the dish is refined and simple, with you in management with how you alter it with that pepper sauce and rice. The skin will come on (don’t forget, it’s poached, so it’s not crispy) if which is not your jam, it peels off simply. There is a fried variation of it, but this felt more healthy and additional reliable. 

The fried curry fish cakes appetizer at 9Zaab. (Picture: Tom Meek)

Comparable in notion is the khao na gai, a rooster stew with Chinese sausage and a fried egg that comes in a gravy surrounding a mound of that garlic rice. It’s on the record as a future-time indulgence, and there’s a duck version way too (khao na ped). Other foreseeable future treasures on that endless record of wishes are the salt-and-pepper crab the pad woon sen (sautéed shrimp or crab with apparent noodles, a ginger and white pepper sauce served Thai pot design) a pineapple fried rice that I have read other diners rave about and the nam fried rice, a tremendous-eggy model with broccoli and sai ua (Thai sausage built from the pork underbelly). 

For dessert there is shaved ice and mango sticky rice. If you go to 9Zaab, stray from what you know. Be daring and you won’t regret it.

9Zaab (569 Cambridge St., East Cambridge)


Tom Meek is a author living in Cambridge. His opinions, essays, short tales and posts have appeared in the WBUR ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston Metropolis Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Modern society of Film Critics and rides his bicycle everywhere.

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