ZoobZib – Thai Noodle Beer Bar

By Vita Kuo

If you are a fan of Thai Select or Q2 Thai the well known Thai food haunts in midtown Manhattan, then ZoobZib, the newly opened Thai noodle beer bar on 9th Avenue (bet. 35th & 36th Sts.) will win you over before you can say “Pad Thai”. As summer approaches, the weather gets warmer and days longer, your appetite will begin to crave that bottle of beer paired with something hearty and savory. ZoobZib under- stands just what you need – this Thai noodle beer bar embraces the never-before concept of combining noodles and beer on 9th Avenue. Zoob Zib means chit chat and conversation, which you will certainly be doing in this warm and friendly new restaurant. The menu consists of 14 different specialties and 25 different beers. Zoob Zib’s assortment of craft beers is the most important part of the noodle bar con- cept. Zoob Zib pairs its freshly brewed soups with American craft beers, demonstrating a pas- sion for both value and ingredients, and the care and flavors of each beer and soup brew.

ZoobZib is a cosy place that seats a little more than 50 guests in a rustic and semi- industrial setting at wooden tables of polished wood and high stools. Its culinary style may be considered a hybrid of Japanese and Thai, and with its specialty being comfort noodles paired with beer – this brainchild combination was born because ZoobZib’s owner was tired of the usual noodles sauteed or cooked in a wok.

Guests are welcome to mix and match from the selection of 6 different noodles – including egg noodle (Bah Mee), broad, flat noodle (Sen Yai), rice noodle (Sen Luk), vermicelli rice noodle (Mee Khao), whole grain vermicelli rice Noodle (Mee Brown) and Bean Thread Noodle (Woon Sen), in a cooking style of dry, traditional clear broth or Z2 spicy broth (that comes in four different flavors with peanuts). The specialty noodles are recommended if one is looking for authenticity to the Thai tradi- tion. Particularly popular are Nam Tok a beef noodle soup with meatball, beef liver, tripe, bean sprouts and rice noodle, topped with pork cracklings, and Yok (Jade) Noodle Soup – brown vermicelli noodles with mushrooms, fried tofu, taro, enoki mushrooms, broccoli and taro, and Nah Mee Kiew Moo Daeng – with roast pork, fried pork wonton, bean sprouts and egg noodles. We also recommend the yen ta fo noodle soup too.

The Suki Yaki – preserved bean curd soup with seafood, pork, chicken, vegetables, egg and bean thread noodles, is particularly unique and a complete meal in itself. Much care is taken into its preparation, because it takes an expert to boil the broth just right. There’s also a choice of meat over rice (five- spiced pah-lo), whether roast pork with boiled egg, crispy roast duck, braised chicken, beef or pork. These also come with a variety of greens such as broccoli and pickled ginger.

ZoobZib makes a fuller range of Thai cuisine accessible by simplifying choices – that may otherwise be unfamiliar, with a wide array of single-dish noodle and rice entrees reminiscent of Bangkok’s street food. To complete the ZoobZib experience, the menu of appetiz- ers, sticky rice, noodles, curry and desserts, is coupled with a range of beers available including Singha, Heinken, Sappora, and many others. Some craft beers include Lagunitas Ipa, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Ommegany Hennepin, Duvel Single, Chimay Triple, and Blue Point Toasted Lager. ZoobZib is Asian Fusion’s latest find and the newest place in Hell’s to see and be soon.