As of 1 January 2018, the management of the City Centre Marketing and Improvements Levy transferred from In The City Canberra to the City Renewal Authority. Views expressed in these articles may not reflect the views of the Authority.
Zaab Street Food in Braddon is a one shop stop offering authentic Thai and Lao food, accompanied by a huge selection of Asian beers and an exotic cocktail menu.
There are also DJ decks, a dance floor and an alfresco noodle cart offering by-passers noodles and barbeque sticks.
The décor in Zaab will have you feeling like you’re in south-east Asia – with beers signs hanging from the ceiling, corrugated iron panels and graffiti on the walls, as well as casual stools and tables.
The owner of Zaab Becky Khanthavongsa says she has had the concept for a while and is ecstatic to finally see it come alive in Braddon.
“Our main focus is all about the food,” she said.
“We want to bring Canberra the traditional street food which you would find in Thailand and Laos, so the food that the locals eat with heaps of spice and intense flavours.”
When Becky was choosing the location for Zaab she wanted a relaxed vibe where she could mimic the streets of Laos and Thailand.
“We are trying to create a bit of nostalgia of the streets of Laos and Thailand and to me, Braddon has the same relaxed, casual vibe where people are always walking by – especially at night time,” she said.
Since’s Zaab’s opening in October 2016, the Braddon precinct has definitely lived up to Becky’s expectations.
“We have the food cart out the front running on Friday and Saturday nights until late. Heaps of people have been coming in to chill out have a beer and eat some barbeque sticks,” she said.
“We’re really a one shop stop, on Fridays and Saturdays we’ve got our DJs, the dance floor, drinks and food, so it’s worked really well with the fun vibe in Braddon,” she said.
However, Becky feels like there could be more similar venues open to really get the streets in Braddon buzzing.
“If we had a few more of us along this street, a couple more bars with food, I think we would attract a lot more volume into this particular area,” she said.
“The problem we find is there is a divide between Garema place and Lonsdale Street, so if we can merge that divide and get everyone up and down the strip that would be great.”
Keep an eye out for Zaab’s upcoming events, where you can enjoy some delicious traditional foods and dance into the night.
Find out more about Zaab (and inspect their delicious menu) on their website.