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A Thai-ing Together of Culture and Cuisine: Zaap Thai Street Food Review

Beth Walker

Monday, 8 August 2022

Our Social Media Manager, Beth, recently ticked off a classic UoN bucket list activity and went to Zaap Thai Street Food. Read on to hear about her experience of a taste of Thailand in Nottingham

As a third-year student, I have long awaited the chance to try Zaap. I’d heard great things about it and last week, the wait finally came to an end, and I lunched there with a friend.

“The vibrant colours and cultural decor were unique and immersive.”

Located near Maid Marian Way, Zaap just about escapes the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Upon first walking in, I was really impressed with how much character the restaurant has; it felt so authentic, as though I was walking down a busy street in Thailand. The vibrant colours and cultural decor were unique and immersive. When I visited it was quite busy, which heightened the busy Thai street food recreation too. We walked in and were shown to a table for two.

Given my excitement at the setting and ambience, I couldn’t wait to try the food. The Zaap menu has a wide range of different Thai delicacies, and I was spoilt for choice – I’ll leave you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not. They also had a wide range of vegetarian options.

What did influence my decision, however, was that it was all a little bit more expensive than I had imagined. Don’t get me wrong, items from the Zaap menu aren’t extortionately priced, but from a value-for-money perspective, you can go elsewhere and receive more for the same amount of money, or less.

We ordered drinks before we got our food. My friend opted for a watermelon bubble tea, which was bright green but apparently very sweet and refreshing. I ordered a Virgin Thai Star mocktail, which was really nice and creamy, but unfortunately quite small.

“…when our food arrived, I instantly had food envy.”

As it was only lunchtime, I opted for two of the smaller dishes: chicken gyozas and a bao bun with satay chicken. My friend had ordered one of the curries, which I had fancied but thought might be too big for lunch, but when our food arrived, I instantly had food envy. Her curry looked amazing and, compared to the small portions I received, it was an appropriate size.

Zaap’s chicken gyozas arrived first and while they were on the small side, they were absolutely delicious. These were unlike other gyozas I’ve previously tried, as their shells were pastry-like. I thoroughly enjoyed these and would order them again.

My bao bun arrived shortly after, although not at the same time as the rest of our food. Unfortunately, I noticed a small dark hair on the side of my plate. While this was unpleasant, I did quickly notify the waitress and she took it away immediately. However, it was brought back very quickly, and the plate did look the same, so I am unsure whether I was given a new plate or the hair was just removed.

I was a little bit put off by this, but the hair hadn’t been touching my food, so I proceeded to try the bao bun once the waitress had brought it back. The satay chicken was so tasty, as was the bun, although perhaps a little on the dough-y side.

If I were to visit Zaap again, I would go for one of the curries that my friend had ordered.

The staff were friendly but seemed rushed off their feet, meaning that aspects of the service were either rushed entirely or took far too long. For example, the waitress came and took one of our plates while we were still eating, but then we were sat waiting a long time to receive the bill.

Overall, I did enjoy the food at Zaap and I think everyone should go just to experience the quirky decor and atmosphere. However, certain aspects of the restaurant let it down. In terms of value for money, staffing levels and perhaps hygiene, there is work to be done.



About the Author

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Cover image provided by Zaap Thai on TripAdvisor.

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