- 25-27 Cowley Road (map of this place)
- OX4 1HP
Kake, 3 Apr 2001
Kazbar's moved to table service only now - they don't like you ordering at the bar.
Kake, 18 Oct 2000
Warning - Kazbar is bad for your wallet!
This trendy cocktail and tapas bar opened on the Cowley Road a couple of months ago. I had my eye on it from the first time I saw it under construction, and it's lived up to all my expectations. The large sunny conservatory at the front lets in the rare Oxford sunlight but cuts out much of the traffic noise. It's great on a sunny day when they have the windows open. The back room is cozy, with four separate gathering areas, lit by a skylight in the day and candles at night. The bathrooms are amazing, with the low lighting, huge copper handbaisin and dark-coloured decor evoking a Morocco that most of the clientele will likely have only seen in magazines.
This is a great place to laze around in on a weekend afternoon, ordering rounds of drinks and keeping your strength up with the occasional dish of tapas - or turn up for lunch and order a whole bunch of them. Vegan options include:
- Olives (£1.80 small/£2.50 large) - coriander-scented black and green olives sparked up with tiny cornichon pickles and drenched in olive oil,
- Sauteed mushrooms (£2.00) - cooked with garlic and olive oil. These are good ordered with some bread (30p) to soak up the delicious juices. They taste surprisingly buttery (to this vegan who's not eaten butter for 4 years), but we're assured they're vegan.
- Hummous (£2.00) - finished with condiments including roast garlic and dried chillies. The hotness of this dish does vary considerably, from barely spicy to too hot for non-chilli lovers. Basically a reasonable, fairly ordinary hummous - though plenty of it. You need to order bread separately, and two portions is not excessive. Probably the best-value bar snack available here.
- Patatas Bravas (£2.00) - slow-roasted spiced potatoes, absolutely yummy.
- Additional specials on the blackboard - the Ibikha (chickpeas and butternut squash in harissa tomato sauce, £2.50) is vegan and very good.
The drinks are very good too. Morroccan iced tea (£3.95) is mint tea with plenty of good fresh mint and spiced with vodka. They seem to have stopped putting the mint in by default - make sure you ask to have yours made with chopped mint. Really, really good Margaritas (£3.95) are another option, as is the Sangria on tap - £2.50 per glass or £10.80 for a jug (enough for 5 or 6 glasses). There's a reasonable choice of coffee including at least one very tasty and complexly-spiced one.
Dangerously, they take Switch and Delta, and will operate a tab at the bar.