Cake Thai Zap Elee evenings at Bistro B + Bakery
Chef Phuket Thongsodchareondee (aka Cake @kzcake) has had his share of food drama, opening and closing two restaurants within a couple of years and within a couple blocks of each other. His original spot, Cake Thai, a tiny hidden gem on Biscayne and 79th St is still a favorite among authentic Thai street food fans, yet his past two ventures into Miami’s busiest food arena in Wynwood/Midtown were a challenge.
But his latest venture, Cake Thai Zap Elee, a sort of “restaurant sharing” experience on the side entrance at 600 Biscayne, seems to be exactly the kind of place and food that will be successful. With Uber and Lyft ride-sharing, Airbnb, home sharing, and even Food Halls, all being part of a shared economy, it makes sense that the popular Bistro B + Bakery, should share its space in the evenings with Cake Thai.
The bright space features both hi top and regular seating indoors, and outdoor tables as well. A stone wall has plants growing out of it, and wicker hanging basket lighting hangs from the high ceiling. A familiar face greeted us as we walked in for dinner, as Gabby who has been with Cake from day one, welcomed us to Cake Thai Zap Elee (which means in Thai, “Very Delicious”).
The menu is different than other Thai restaurants as it features food from the North Eastern region of Thailand, Isan, which borders Cambodia and Laos. No coconut milk, no curry, no Pad Thai was on the menu. Instead, there were bright and refreshing papaya and corn salads, duck, pork and chicken dishes and both white and black sticky rice.
We started with Fish Lettuce Wraps, which were grilled Mahi Mahi filets served with bright green lettuce leaves and nam jim sam rod dipping sauce, a combination of a “three flavor dressing” of cilantro, chili and garlic.
From the Isan Classics, we chose the Sweet Corn Salad, a mixture of Peruvian corn, regular corn off the cob, crunchy corn nuts, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, green beans and grape tomatoes to be wrapped in leafy lettuce leaves. It was as flavorful as it was colorful, and we were encouraged to use our fingers to scoop up some of the sticky rice and dip it in the sauce. Other salads of note included the ground duck salad, classic green papaya salad, and a grilled pork salad. All portions are shareable, and these salads could easily be main course options.
Our main entrees came from the charcoal grill and were cooked to perfection and had wonderful seasoning and flavors. The Skirt Steak was marinated and served with a nam jim jaew sauce of tamarind and lime juice. We added sides of both black and white sticky rice.
But the Grilled Chicken was the show stopper, marinated in soy sauce, cilantro and black pepper then grilled for a crispy skin, tender inside and drizzled with fermented Longan Thai honey. A half portion was plenty for the both of us to share. Other options include Grilled Jumbo Prawns and a Whole Branzino, which is wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled.
Dessert was an easy choice, with Mango season in Florida. Fresh Mango Sticky Rice arrived sprinkled with sesame seeds and sugar and the sweet and sticky combo made for perfect end to a visit to a less known region of Thailand.
Open Thursdays- Friday until midnight, and until 2 am on Saturday and Sundays.
600 Brickell Ave
Miami, FL 33130
Reservations on Open Table