Zaap Thai Leeds review: Here's what I thought of the street food restaurant that's taking over the North
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Walking into Zaap Thai is like stepping into a Bangkok market - there’s tuk-tuk tables, colourful lights, quirky posters and an open kitchen. It’s walk-ins only, but we were quickly shown to a table for two.
The choice on the menu is staggering - from street food snacks, bao buns and soups, to curries, noodles and meaty mains. There’s heaps of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and we were asked twice by staff if we had any allergies.
The drinks menu is just as vast. My friend went for a pink gin and lemonade while I opted for the Siam Southside cocktail, a gin mojito garnished with Kaffir lime leaves. It was lush.
To start, we shared the vegetable spring rolls, Thai fish cakes and Japanese-style vegetable gyoza. The food arrived with rapid speed, but the spring rolls were a little pale, without the nice colour and crunch you’d expect, the gyoza were also light in colour and still a little chewy, while the fish cakes were very dense. The flavours were beautiful, and with a little more cooking time the spring rolls and gyoza would have been knock-out dishes.
The portion sizes were plentiful so for our main, we shared a prawn Pad Thai. The flavours, again, were spot on - perfectly-cooked noodles tossed with beansprouts and vegetables, silky smooth tofu that had soaked up the punchy oyster and tamarind sauce and, of course, the crunchy peanut garnish. Sadly, the prawns had turned rubbery.
The staff were absolutely wonderful. They are clearly used to being busy, as we watched them effortlessly juggle tables, still with big smiles on their faces.
The bill for three starters and one main came to £29.15, plus £24 for four drinks - around what you’d expect in the city centre. The branding, the atmosphere, the customer service and variety on the menu are all spot on and I can certainly see Zaap Thai’s mass appeal. With a little more time and care in the kitchen, our experience could have been outstanding.