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Zabb Astoria NOT RELATED to Zabb Jackson Heights

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Discovered this fact the hard way.

After reading such glowing reviews for Zabb Thai in Jackson Heights, I was thrilled to find a Zabb Thai down the street from me in Astoria. "Oh, goody," I thought, "they've expanded!"

Wrong.

Zabb in Astoria is apparently unrelated to the illustrious Zabb Thai in Jackson Heights. I called Zabb in Jackson Heights to confirm this, and it seemed the woman I spoke to there was unaware that there even exists another restaurant with the same name in Astoria.

While I've never dined at Zabb in Jackson Heights and cannot attest to it's alleged greatness, allow me to say the Zabb in Astoria is unworthy of any similar praise. Watery curry. Pad see ew that put the, ahem, "ew" in pad see ew. Bland and overcooked go rheng noodle. Mushy, gelatinous coconut rice.

Just awful.

Zabb in Jackson Heights needs to hire an attorney to defend their good name..

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  1. I get take out from Zabb in Astoria all the time, and I love it, as does my DH. We get the chicken rama (delicious!) and the pad thai (also very, very good, especially for take out). We've had a couple other things, too, and never been disappointed. I've not been to the one in Jackson Heights, but may take a trip to check it out sometime....

    1. IIRC, Zabb Astoria was opened by the people who were running Zabb City and Zabb Jackson Heights, then Zabb Jackson Heights switched owners but kept some of the same chefs. So Zabb Astoria may have more of a claim on the name then the Jackson Heights one!

      It's all quite confusing but what it comes down to is that Zabb has always been great at some things and bad at others, and a bit inconsistent. Someone who's been to the other Zabbs would have to order the same dishes at the Astoria one for a true comparison!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Widmark

        Also, Zabb specializes in northern or Issan (or Esan) Thai cuisine, so watery curry sounds about right. Not sure about the noodles. As with most ethnic restaurants serving a multicultural clientele, they put on as many things on the menu that they know will sell. Hone your CH instincts and figure out what the restaurant is best known for or what they specialize in and go with those items. I've been curious to know how much of the Astoria branch's menu is dedicated to northern style dishes.

        1. re: Widmark

          I wouldn't say the Zabb in Jackson Heights is inconsistent at all. I've eaten there multiple times and have always had a good meal. As the previous poster noted, its an Issan restaurant though, which is different from Bangkok food which most people in this country associate with as Thai food.

          The Issan/Lao food at Zabb is very good, and all of my Issan and Northern Thai friends enjoy the food there.

          1. re: deam

            I've eaten there several times a month for the last 3 years. While it's never been bad, there's definitely been inconsistencies with how exactly they prepare certain dishes. Chalk it up to different chefs, different owners, whatever, but I've been there enough to think so. It's not even something I hold against them. I also mean inconsistent in, as mentioned, that while they excel at some things, other stuff may not be as interesting. I've never had any of their curries because I'd always read that they're not as good, while their salads such as the crispy duck salad, I find more interesting then most places versions.

            And as I've stated many times, their Crispy pork and chinese broccoli beats Srip's by a mile.

            1. re: Widmark

              We had the Crispy pork and chinese broccoli at Srip yesterday and it was glorious. I don't doubt that Zaab's is fine as well but it is hard to believe that it beats Srip's by a mile.

              1. re: bobjbkln

                maybe you should try the other one and get back to me! I've had that dish at both places countless times, and Srip's pork is crispy little bits compared to Zabb's glorious crispy and chewy and moist and fatty pork belly, while the oyster sauce is stronger and more salty/garlicky/whatever then Srip's.

            2. re: deam

              Besides skipping the curries, what other ordering tips should be followed when ordering at Isaan places? (I've had one very good meal at ZabbJH and would like to return; looking for general guidance for NE Thai/Isaan food).

              1. re: erica

                Papaya salad, and larb are pretty common among Northeast Thai/Laos and they are reliable stables at any Issan/Lao restaurant. Zabb makes a good version of both.

                Also with Issan food as well as with Northern Thai food it is common to eat sticky rice instead of regular jasmine rice. The rice is eaten with your hand instead of with a spoon & fork. The use of sticky white rice is definitely something that sets Lao food apart from most of the rest of Asia.