Couscousbangbang.com is a website about Food, Drink, and Restaurants in the UK. What began at the start of 2014 as a personal cookery journal has expanded into a collection of reviews and commentaries on the fast-changing culinary scene in the UK and in particular Leeds, where Cous Cous Bang Bang is based.
I’m Thom, the mouth and stomach behind Cous Cous Bang Bang. I’ve lived in Leeds since 2009, witnessed the food and drink landscape change considerably in that time, and tried my hardest to keep up to date with the changes, picking up some tips along the way.
People sometimes ask who I am and what qualifies me to pass judgement on restaurants – usually it’s first line of attack if I’ve said something bad about their food – and the answer is nobody; just another paying customer; an icon, like Batman in a version of Gotham City where the baddies are restaurants trying to get away with selling crap food. It’s not the most despicable crime, sure, but I’m working with what I’ve got. I know my way around my own kitchen and I’ve worked in a few commercial ones, but all reviews are written from the perspective of the average person off the street who happens to love eating.
Everything I write is completely objective, and everything I eat, whether it’s a 10-course tasting menu or £3 dumplings from a clapped-out old van, gets judged on the same criteria; taste, value for money, and the dining experience. Unless it’s particularly interesting or relevant to potential-diners then I don’t name-drop Chefs or obscure cooking techniques, and I’m not interested in fabricating a world where eating good food is an elitist pastime.
If somewhere has made an impression on me (good or bad) but hasn’t received a full review yet, it’ll be on one of the Cheat Sheets – these give short summaries of restaurants which you can view by the type of cuisine, or see plotted on a Map to get an idea of what’s nearby. Perfect for new visitors to the city and people looking to try something new.
With more eating options than ever, all I want to do is share my advice and minimise your chances of wasting money on a bad meal.
When you want to eat well without eating out, there’s the recipe section – easy to make, unpretentious dishes with inspiration taken from places I’ve eaten or menus I’ve ogled until the words have burned into my retinas.
Most of the ingredients are things you’re likely to have in your cupboards or your local supermarket, if there’s something a bit more eccentric on the ingredients list and I haven’t told you where you’ll be able to find it, leave a comment and I’ll let you.
Awards & Honours
Guild of Food Writers Awards 2015 – Blog of the Year