REVIEW: Thai streets ahead food

Zaap in Leeds.

We got a complaint the last time we ran a review of a restaurant that wasn’t local. Fortunately, complaints are like water off the back of a particularly water-resistant duck to us at Richmondshire Today. If we don’t get at least one “I’m going to talk to my solicitor” a week we are slightly miffed.

So we went to Zaap in Leeds City Centre during a shopping trip to the big smoke the other week. Zaap specialises in Thai street food. They are a small chain with branches also in York and Newcastle.

As we were one of the first to arrive after the restaurant opened for the day, we got to have our meal in a converted tuk tuk, which was a bit of fun.

We ordered starters as well as mains but the food all came at the same time, which came as a surprise but not an unpleasant one. The whole ‘starter followed at an indeterminate time later by the main course’ thing can be a bit of a pain sometimes. You wait ages for your starter, finish it then sometimes have to wait ages for your main course and you’re thinking it’s all just a bit of a palaver. Better for the waiting staff to dump all the food on the table and leave you to it. I’d go even further if I had my way and ask for the puddings to come at the same time, with the meal served in one of those segmented metal trays you got at school.

So anyway, it all came really quickly as you’d hope for with food that’s originated from the streets.

The food really was superb and made us realise just how bland and dull our cooking can be in the UK sometimes, or maybe that’s just us. Everything was just oozing with ginger, garlic, coconut, chilli and coriander. “Big, punchy flavours,” as Greg from MasterChef might say when not avoiding his family by playing computer games.

It was fairly cheap too. The bill for four of us came to just over £100 but that did include several cocktails!

Personally, I’ve never been to Thailand but I now understand just what the attraction is for people who do. All those middle-aged single men who head to Phuket every year clearly go for delicious dishes such as look chin tod (deep fried fish ball skewers) or sai grog (sour pork sausages). Some are that impressed with the Thai cuisine they even bring someone home to cook it for them.

Zaap Thai Street Food, 22 Grand Arcade, Leeds, LS1 6PG. Tel: 0113 243 2586 or email

Food 5/5

Surroundings 5/5

Service 5/5

Value for money 5/5

1 Comment

  1. Ho ho ho! I like neither ginger nor chili but do appreciate good writing and a bit of a laff with my first mug of tea.

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