Category: Thai, Northeastern – Casual Dining
On the morning of our last day in Bangkok, we decided to explore the UP Rama 3 mall (ดิอัพ พระราม 3) which newly opened, just down the street from where we were staying at the Chatrium Residence Sathorn. The mall was barely a month old, and we’d gone down to scout it out for a place to have breakfast. Unexpectedly, one of our most value-for-money and best meals happened there at a new restaurant, which we hadn’t even heard of, called De Zaab on the first floor.
The Up Rama 3, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Road, Yannawa, Bangkok
Chong Non Si ช่องนนทรี The Up Rama 3 ถนนนราธิวาสราชนครินทร์ ยานนาวา กรุงเทพฯ
The UP mall is located at the corner of a major street intersection. If I had to draw parallels, it would be a version of Singapore’s Chijmes, with its elements of old world european architecture. It’s pretty small but has several food establishments including Singapore’s very own Boon Tong Kee chicken rice restaurant alongside a significant number of medium to high-end Japanese Restaurants; from Japanese barbecue to handmade sushi and sashimi from fish flown in from Japan in an omakase format.
De Zaab offered the most incredible value ever. At lunchtime, they had set meals which were between 160 – 190THB ($6-$8) which were fixed pairings of dishes from their regular menu. We’d thought that perhaps the portions would be smaller but alas, the portions were comparable to everywhere else, and my-, the dishes were all good!
To go: Definitely, if you’re in the vicinity
Leaving the restaurant, we were actually concerned about the restaurant’s viability, with prices almost comparable to the street-side stalls (except this was a proper restaurant). I do note that this may be out of the way for those staying farther up north in Bangkok. However, if you find yourself somewhere near to or in Sathorn, they’re definitely worth your while.
A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT
At 10.30am on a Monday morning, the UP Mall was still relatively quiet apart from the soft pipe-in Japanese music which reminded me of the Shiroi Koibito Park in Hokkaido. The signs of the mall’s recentness were fully apparent – the walls and floors were spotless, and some units were still in the midst of having their fixtures put up whilst one or two others were pending tenancy.
Since it was our last day in Bangkok, we thought it made perfect sense to indulge in Thai food, and so when we passed by De Zaab on the first floor and saw the tantalising pictures, we went straight in.
All I can say is damn – we made a hella good choice. We ordered a set of Thai papaya salad and a seafood Pad Thai (rice noodles stir fried with eggs, firm tofu, a touch of sugar and spice and with peanut bits). When served, we were gawking at the heap that was the papaya salad. The papaya strands were a good rawness, thickness and had lots of crunch. Every stand of the Pad Thai was well glazed with the tamarind and fish sauce, with a good amount of prawns to boot. Personally, I prefer how they do it in Singapore, which is to stir fry the beansprouts in with the noodles, whereas here, the beansprouts were served raw on the side.
The Seafood Tom Yum Soup had so much depth of flavour as well – it was light but punchy on the spicy and sour, with just the right tone of sweetness – and was loaded with plenty of ingredients including fresh prawns, squid and a whole party of vegetables.
Truth be told, I have no idea what the dish above (and also the featured image) is called, but I’d refer to it as one of the restaurant’s signature dishes because it was featured on the wall, and also had half a page of the menu dedicated entirely to it. It wasn’t part of a set, but either way, if you show them this picture, I’m sure their friendly staff will be able to figure it out – just look at the amount of ingredients in this thing – fresh and succulent prawns, fishcake slices, and a generous helping of vegetables on top of the fragrant and fluffy vermicelli. Such a delight.