Thai-born cousins Nathapon “Tee” Thipmujcharchai, Chalit “Ekkie” Peetisirikun and Tanapong “Aun” Thipmatchachai cut their teeth in Sydney’s hospitality scene before settling in Adelaide. The trio heads up Zaep: Tastes of Thailand – with a team that’s made up almost exclusively of family members.

Zaep (pronounced “zap”) has a double meaning in Thai: spicy and delicious.

Re-fitting the former chemist started with a haul of Concept Collections furniture. The trio worked backwards from there, settling on a black-and-gold colour scheme. Polishing the bare concrete floor uncovered slick stone detailing that, by chance, fitted the industrial brief. A shrine to Thailand’s king and queen connects the restaurant to its roots.

At Zaep, it’s all about sharing – the classics are served as they are in Thailand. Pork mince-stuffed sago balls are a street-food staple in Bangkok.

Other dishes respectfully buck tradition. Raw prawns and Thai nam jim dressing are a classic pairing. Zaep’s version bears a strong Japanese influence, swapping out prawns for salmon sashimi. You’ll find osso bucco, most often associated with Italian cooking, in the Massaman curry. It’s slow-cooked for four hours (or until it’s almost falling off the bone).

White wines pair well with Thai food, but the same can’t always be said for reds, so the wine list steers away from full-bodied reds, opting for lighter varieties like grenache and tempranillo. Beers are all Australian apart from a token Singha.

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Updated: November 15th, 2017

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