Zaap Thai – Headingley’s latest street food favourite

Zaap Thai opened a new franchise in Headingley, welcoming diners as lockdown lifted across England on 12 April.

After a busy day of work and training, my boyfriend and I were hungry and wanted to make the most of the newly opened eateries in Headingley. So, we headed over to Zaap Thai on our bikes and as we rode over, we were very keen to try out the food as we’re big lovers of Thai cuisine!

Zaap Thai is located on the corner of St Ann’s Road and Otley Road. When we arrived, the restaurant was busy. As we were not able to book, we had to wait for our table. But that wasn’t a huge issue as it gave us time to peruse the menu and enjoy the enticing aromas emerging from the kitchen. After about 20 minutes of waiting, we were shown to our table, which annoyingly was a little squishy and far away from heaters – but probably the only table in the whole restaurant that wasn’t directly under a heater! As everything has a silver lining, being a little squished did mean we could assess how dates were coming along around us – something I have missed doing over the last few months.

We opted for water to drink but for food, we ordered a selection of dishes. As per usual, we asked for all the dishes to come at the same time – the only way to eat Thai food in my opinion!

We ordered the beef massaman curry, which came with jasmine rice. The beef was tender, despite being in slices (not usually my cup of tea), and the sauce was well flavoured with a good amount of spice. Alongside the curry, we ordered Khanom pang na gai (chicken toast), which provided a nice extra crunch and went well with the sweet chilli dipping sauce. We also had a bowl of edamame because it would have been rude not to. But, for us, the standout dish of the day was the Sa la pao moo daeng, which were fluffy steamed buns filled with roasted pork. The buns were deliciously different and came in a bamboo steamer – which meant that they stayed fluffy and moist – they will definitely be on our order next time.

Overall, the meal was fab. We both enjoyed every dish and would happily order everything again. But, next time we would hope that our wait for the bill wouldn’t be quite so long as our overall dining experience was pulled down by a 30 minute pause between eating and leaving. Although the waitresses apologised for the wait, we were very chilly by the time we left Zaap! We’ve put it down to teething troubles, to be fair, which is to be expected, especially in our changed circumstances.

Photographs by Gemma Bridge.

Dr Gemma Bridge

Gemma, who works at Leeds Beckett University, has been writing for over 10 years and loves to share what's going on in and around Leeds. She is also an international athlete, artist and the creator of Leeds Food Guide. You can find her on Instagram at @GLB_racewalk or @Leeds_FoodGuide

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