ZaZa Bazaar-a south western foray into gluttony

This is the end of times. This is everything fanatical preachers rant  and warn you against whilst handing you luridly photocopied leaflets as  you attempt to avoid their gaze and nip into Tesco Express.

‘It’s like being in Las Vegas’ says my awestruck mother and we all agree despite never having been in Las Vegas.

We are at Za Za Bazaar in Bristol.

This may not fit my normal attempt at writing about something interesting and hopefully unloved in the North. We are at the Harbourside in Bristol and we queued for an hour to park the car and then to be seated.

But upon reflection the last place of merit or interest to the passing  Northern residing internet traveller I visited was either TK Maxx or a popular pub with a birds name a few miles away from Lancaster where the food was so coldly blandly disappointingly overpriced and  the waitress so coldly aggressive,  I am too scared to even mention it on this blog in case I get a (tepid) fire bomb through my door.

I think I might prefer a fire bomb to ever spending so much money  on ravioli covered in a surprising topping of  diced carrot again though to be fair.

Anyway. ZaZaBazaar is the biggest restaurant in Europe and features more food than I have ever seen in my life.  A ‘street market’ featuring various world cuisines suddenly appears when you step out of the lift and it is ‘buffet style’ which means to this country ‘all you can eat without or whilst possibly vomiting’.

There is a four sided Vietnamese hut, a Mexican shack, a salad bar, an Italian shed, an Indian joint etc etc. I try and shield my toddler from the pudding palace which has ceiling to floor shutes of jellybeans and swirling greasy walls of cupcakes like some 9 year old lottery winners house.

It is of course clearly brilliant. I am hungry. This is a bulimic fantasy.

There is neon, loud music and hysterical children running around with dinner plates full of smarties and chips.

I am disorientated, don’t know where to turn or what to do.

I am given a map.

This is the zenith of consumer culture. And for £6.99! (with a complicated voucher system)

It is cheaper than the disappointing starter at the pub near Lancaster to eat everything in the world. Possibly literally!

I smirk in my head at the slightly confrontational and bossy waitress at the pub near Lancaster and try to work out what to do.

I eat.  I start at the Indian food stall but accidently put some chips on my plate and then nachos and guacamole. Then marinated mushrooms and hummus. I sit down to eat but am bedazzled by the choices I have not yet made and am terrified of being full so swirl it around into an oily marble effect and then gulp it down  quickly, horrified at the thought of having not yet had the other stuff I can see.

The phrase ‘a paean to gluttony’ is constantly reverberating through my brain. I have no idea why.

My toddler bravely battles through a plate of macaroni cheese. To try to get pizza is like entering a warzone patrolled by 9 year olds with empty plates, forks and patrolling dads as weapons. The music seems to be getting louder.

No-one appears to be savouring their food, the staff all seem to be emaciated but still it is utterly awesome and I bravely mix noodles with pakoras. Because I can.

My partner looks scared, the toddler has noticed the sweet chutes. This is not going to end well.

I start to feel slightly unwell. I try and find the toilets and get lost despite the yellow arrows painted on the floor. This is not a good place for a first date.

I take a handful of breaded garlic mushrooms for nourishment along the way.

The salad bar beckons. Because if you eat some salad it cancels out the flaccid pizza where the cheese slides off like a warm chewy elastic blanket when you bite into it.

The salad bar is good. And there are no feral children there. There are lentils! Soups! I am immediately baptised into health, new life and well being and all for 6.99! 6.99! (with the complicated voucher system)

I am reborn.

Until I see the ice cream machine.

The phrase ‘a paean to gluttony’ starts singing louder.

I am spoilt now. Ruined.

I can disfavour and sully  every pleasant well thought out locally sourced meal  in a quietly attractive Northern establishment  by unfairly comparing it with the orgiastic extravaganza of Za Za Bazaar in Bristol, the biggest restaurant in Europe.

I have however gone off pizza.

And pasta with boiled carrots never works no matter how pretty the setting.

2 Responses to “ZaZa Bazaar-a south western foray into gluttony”

  • narf7 Says:

    Like they say…the streets are lined with gold in the North! I never believed it, but it’s true! Now I can cross that one off my bucket list :)

  • cyberfairy Says:

    Aaah-I traversed down the highway and what is considered a short journey where you reside is cross country to us. Four hours and I was at the other side of England and it was warm! And we were in the posh south!

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