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Court Lane Durham DH1 3JS

The handsome-looking Zen has an authentic menu of curries, clay-pots, stir-fries and noodles, rated from mild to blow-your-head-off. It's a whole lot cheaper during the day (up until 6pm, 5pm on Friday and Saturday) when you'll be able to make a meal out of a laksa noodle bowl or dim sum or sushi to share, plus lots of street-food favourites, from satay to Thai fish cakes. It's little plates, southeast Asian style – what they cutely call 'Thaipas' – but you can also concoct a full pan-Asian blow-out, from tom yam and spring rolls to Burmese beef curry. It's on the student circuit (just over the road from the Court Inn, for a pint before or after), and it's best to book at weekends.

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