As we rush out of the first cold Brisbane night of the year and enter Kazba Bar in the Emporium Complex in the Valley we are immediately comforted by the dimly lit well-appointed surrounds and beckoned to the bar by the back-lit wall of spirits.
It was difficult to know what to expect when going to a Tel-Aviv style bar, it is not one that immediately conjures up an image like the more common Irish Pub. A theme bar is not always easy with a fine line between inspiration and imitation. Kazba I am pleased to report sits firmly in the former. It is adorned with Middle Eastern-inspired trinkets, taking you off the streets of Brisbane and into a comfortable and enticing world.
We are escorted to our table and handed an extensive cocktail menu. Despite my best efforts, I could not sample all of them but as a committed reporter, I sampled a wide variety from their menu. From The Seasonal Signature menu, I went for the Turkish Coffee Martini, a spiced rum-based cocktail with caramelized Yogurt, Turkish coffee and chocolate bitters. The bitterness of the coffee was beautifully balanced and softened by the yogurt which created a lovely mouth feel.
For those who prefer a fruitier drink, the seasonal menu also included the Levinsky Market Julep made with Pear Sherry, strawberries which were well balanced, refreshing and a cinnamon-like after taste that kept you coming back for more.
The Fizzy Bubbly menu combines various light spirits and fruits carbonated. I went with the No. 3 due to my affinity for tequila and grapefruit, they even threw in some lime for good measure. They are like a dangerous soft drink and seem to be a bit too drinkable.
At this point I decided if we are to continue the exploration of the cocktail menu ordering some food would be for the best. This is not your typical bar food. The small plates included fantastic options for vegetarians such as myself with sesame falafels which are always a good vegetarian snack, a Chilli Halloumi savoury doughnut with pomegranate and chili Jam which was essentially all my favorite foods expertly blended together. The Hummus and flatbread were fantastic, the Hummus creamy with the chickpeas adding some crunch. The late night (post 10 pm) menu includes some enticing and more substantial options like a falafel pita wrap.
Sufficiently fed it was back to the cocktail menu. From the New School menu, a fruity vodka concoction called the East 8 Hold Up which credits its creation to a Kevin Armstrong from the Milk and Honey in London circa 2010, cheers Kev. For the Instagram street cred, we had to go for something off the ‘Up in Smoke’ menu. I usually shun gimmicky cocktails that look more like a grade 10 science experiment than a drink. Whether it was already having had a few cocktails or if it was just that I genuinely enjoyed the spectacle, I would recommend the Persimmon Negroni. A Gin, Campari, vermouth et al. concoction all completed with its own prog rock-inspired smoke show.
The Kazba is a unique addition to Brisbane’s nightlife that I highly recommend for a late night snack and cocktail(s).
Prices – Drinks from $17 and Food from $18
Escape the ordinary and experience the exotic. A dimly lit spot to discover, enter Tel Aviv’s vibrant nightlife at KAZBA.
A soulful cocktail bar offering exotic twists and forgotten classics by witty monikers, divided by familiar and foreign tastes.
Cocktails inspired by the boulevards of Tel Aviv using house-made Middle Eastern cordials derived from the region’s produce, sodas and unique produce for garnishes. All delivered in alluring vessels, large and small, sourced from the bazaars and markets from near and far.
Uncover humble bar food which pays homage to city’s street food, using charcoal and woodfire to create tantalising late-night vegetarian eats, devoured amongst high energy with low whispers in dark corners.
Keep in the dark and revel in endless nights within our fortress in the heart of The Valley. Escape the ordinary and experience the exotic.
Kazba Facebook: @BarKazba
Kazba Instagram: @BarKazba
Kazba website: https://ovolohotels.com/ovolo/thevalley/eat/kazba/
Located at 1000 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, QLD, 4006