Cocktails in flasks hidden inside hollowed out hardback novels, Sazeracs poured from smoke-filled glass bottles and shared sips in disco ball-like punch bowls. If you like your cocktails with a side of theatrics, you’re going to want to check out Bar Kazba, the latest rendition of ZA ZA TA’s Tel Aviv inspired side bar in Fortitude Valley.
While you’ve always been able to just grab a drink here, the bar always seemed more of an afterthought to ZA ZA TA—a place to head for a pre-dinner sip before a Middle Eastern feast next door, or a nightcap when you’ve finished dinner and that pesky two-hour, COVID-induced table limit has kicked in but you’re not ready to move on. But now, the bar is ready to be a drinking den worth visiting all on its own, with a whole new menu to explore.
Take a seat, either in the vibrant, Queenslander-inspired bar area or the glamorous, 1940s style lounge and prepare to peruse the menu for a while—you’re gonna struggle deciding what to order. Signature sips include the Amardeen Sour, with dried apricot bourbon, fresh lemon, house made amaro, honey, peychaud bitters and a side of apricot fruit leather, and the oh so decadent Turkish Coffee Martini, with house spiced rum, elite arak, caramelised yoghurt, Turkish coffee, cardamom and chocolate bitters.
If you’re a fan of the bar’s smokey sips (see here if you’ve got no idea what we’re talking about), you’ll still find the Persimmon Negroni and Fig Rum Old Fashioned on the menu, to share or drink solo, and there’s even a new addition—the Tel Aviv Sazerac. And then there’s the MVP of the whole menu, the ‘Rock the Kazba’ Disco Punch. Served up in a dazzling punch bowl, it’s designed to share between four, and blends Pampero Anejo rum, Hennessy VS, apricot liqueur, Veuve Clicquot, lemon verbena tea, mint, lemon and edible pearls. Oh, and it will set you back a cool $120, so better wait until payday. Other shared sips include The Sun Also Rises, named for a Hemingway novel and served up in a flask hidden in a novel, ready for you to pour.
As for what you’ll be nibbling on while you drink, the eats have been curated by ZA ZA TA Executive Chef Roy Ner, and yes, just like next door, the menu is entirely vegetarian. The one dish really calling our name is the chilli halloumi savoury doughnuts with pomegranate and chili jam, but you can also order up zucchini flowers with baba ganoush and caper aioli, sesame falafel with tahini and pickles, and house made falafel wraps.
And for anyone who laments that they can never get a meal after 9pm in Brisbane, we’ve got good news—there’s a dedicated late night menu, and the bar is open Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm until the last person leaves, with vinyl DJs playing afrobeat, funk soul and disco every Friday and Saturday. You can scope out all the other details you need to know here.
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Image credit: Supplied