Za Za’s Bizarre: why does anyone go to this food-based nightmare?

It’s part of every fresher’s bucket list, but isn’t it basically a scrum in a neon-lit trough?


Za Za Bazaar is Britain’s biggest restaurant, offering a pan-global smorgasbord of takeaway favourites inside a vast industrial feasting hangar.

During freshers’ week they give away a free meal in exchange for a small part of your soul (they also accept your mobile phone number apparently).

The whole thing is described in Za Za’s promotional material as a ‘party’, whereas in reality it’s a hysterical and slightly grotesque exercise in eating as much as you can without throwing up.

Here are four reasons why your one night stand at Za Za was overrated.


At Za Za you queue to get in…

A scene eerily reminiscent of last weeks fresher’s fair.

…then you end up in the ‘VIP’ scrum…

Where’s the food?!?

…then you queue for some food…

It’s all a bit Soviet innit?


Za Za is where humanity/friendship/joy goes to bury its head in a neon-lit trough for 90 minutes, rendering all attempts at conversation futile.

Go there and you’ll be too busy scraping the sweet and sour sauce bucket for the last inch of cornflower coated gristle, or standing around in some bovine queue for more chicken to engage in any yakking.

More gratuitous queuing action.

How bizarre it is that Za Za should be so readily accepted as part of the Bristol freshers’ bucket list when the place makes it impossible to have a laugh with your new mates.

The wall

This lad has hit the wall.

The wall I’m referring to here isn’t that great big fuck off wall in Game of Thrones, but the one long-distance runners talk about when they attempt to philosophise their incredibly boring sport.

The gut-busting, hunger-pummelling, belt-undoing feasting encouraged by Za Za is rewarded by hitting the wall: the point at which you can eat no more.

Once you’ve done this you’ll feel like the average Texan; a sweaty and obese mass full of inchoate rage brought on by ingesting far too many calories.

If that’s your idea of a nice meal then head down to the harbourside.

It’s pretty rank

You might recognise these eggs from Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi masterpiece Alien.

I don’t want to sound like some kind of vegan, tree-hugging bastard but here goes.

When you actually think about Za Za you realise how unsettlingly obscene the whole place is. They ‘process’ 60 chickens a day at the Bazaar, a grim fact that blinging the place up to look like Saddam Hussein’s summer house can’t hide.

The one conversation we managed at our table on Monday night revolved around ‘tactically chundering’ so that we might be able to scale the wall or knock it down, Berlin 1989 style in order to eat even more crap.

“The horror! The horror!”

The end of any meal at Za Za: you’ll be surrounded by anonymous scraps of meat and plates stacked like so many corpses, seated at a table that looks like Michael Jackson’s autopsy just happened on it, trying really hard not to feel guilty for being such a swine.

Then again, it is free right…?