Step into the foyer of the Ovolo Valley Hotel and you will be surrounded by a bright tropical lushness, reminiscent of the blooming oasis of Israel’s tourism hub. You will also be a convenient two door walk away from what is rapidly becoming Fortitude Valley’s newest hotspot for a night out: KAZBA.

Inspired by the shimmering strip of Tel Aviv, KAZBA welcomes guests with much more than the promise of a few good drinks. It offers an immersive experience, one that satiates the urge to take flight at any moment and explore lands unknown to you before. For those who crave a night out in another country, ruefully restricted by an international pandemic, KAZBA emerges as a worthy alternative that will have guests feeling teleported to the exotic Middle East from the moment they step through the doors.

Hidden away from the tourist-laden main strip of the Israeli city are bars and clubs with more finesse; their frequent inhabitants are those who take risks, walk the road less travelled, and break away from the crowed in search authenticity. These are the bars that inspire KAZBA, the secret treasures of the city that will greatly reward those who find them. KAZBA presents itself as such a treasure, with a dark atmosphere carefully and beautifully illuminated with warm golden flames. Each piece of decoration or art is carefully selected to evoke nostalgia for the Middle East in all its glory, making guests feel at home in a place they had never known before their night out at KAZBA. Priding itself as a fortress for endless nights, an escape from the ordinary, an exotic experience, KAZBA must keep many of its secrets out of the columns of digital magazines such as this… all the more reason for you to take a trip to the bar tonight and discover it for yourself!

One thing I am at leisure to share is how rich of a food and drink experience is awaiting for hungry travellers and cocktail fanatics alike. Return visits are necessary to absorb everything the kitchen has to offer. The zucchini flowers are a must-have from the menu, elegantly presented and so delicious you will be wanting a second serving. But a true measure of a restaurant is the effort it puts into its breads and dips, as strange as that may sound. KAZBA’s woodfired Zaatar flatbread is baked to perfection, drizzled with oil and a delight on its own. Pair the Zaatar with dips, hummus and zucchini baba ganoush, and you have an easy conversation starter as you debate the superior of the two dips, switching constantly as you lavish in the rich flavours. Don’t hold back on asking for a second serving of bread either – the hummus is well-worth it! 

Be sure to get in early for a delicious feed like that, but don’t fret if you arrive slightly later in the night! KAZBA keeps guests well-fed late into the evening with gozleme, falafel wraps and arayes – all of which I am sure to be returning for soon!

Yet the real drawcard of KAZBA is, of course, the drinks. There is, naturally, a great selection of wines and beers on offer, but those indulging in an alcoholic evening should step beyond their comfort zone in KAZBA and drink of their incredible cocktails. Reading through the menu is pleasure enough as you can almost taste the exotic flavours on the tip of your tongue. The Seasonal Signature is full of delights – for lovers of the sweet the Amardeen Sour and Fizzy Bubbly No. 5 are for you, overwhelming drinkers with the tantalising tastes of apricots and refreshing watermelon, respectively. In a party of two or more, shared drinks are available to start your group off in the right mood to drink and dance throughout the night. A suggestion: ‘Rock the Kazba’ Disco Punch is the perfect birthday treat for partygoers at KAZBA. And for those seeking a multi-sensory experience, select your drink from the Up In Smoke range and you will drive your group mad with desire with the tempting scent of cherry, applewood, or maple smoke that embraces your drink as it is served.

It is all well and good to ramble about how fun an evening was, how delicious the food and beverages were, how prettily the room was decorated. But seldom do we remember to thank the people who make that possible. Without a dedicated team of kitchen staff, bartenders and hosts, KAZBA would not have quite the same inviting atmosphere that it does. Busy bartenders still have time to welcome you with a smile as you step inside, and everybody goes out of their way in the evening to ensure your night is that seemingly paradoxical balance of relaxing and exciting. 

A welcome addition to the Ovolo, KAZBA will quickly become a favourite for locals and travellers who seek a night out with a special flair. It is a rare venue that invites guests in with promises of being whisked on a night away and actually delivers on that promise. A grand food adventure, an orgasmic drinking experience, guests fall into fantasies of the night and revel in the exotic Tel Aviv-inspired atmosphere that is KAZBA.

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