First Look: Middle Eastern Cocktail Bar ZZURA

First Look: Middle Eastern Cocktail Bar ZZURA

An oasis on busy Hollywood Road

by:  
Ashley Tang  Ashley Tang  on 6 Dec '21


Inspired by ancient cities and the mythical oasis of Zerzura, contemporary Middle Eastern cocktail bar ZZURA comes alive come evening, serving some of the most unique cocktails around.

The bar is co-founded by David Sit, who also owns Whisky & Words and The Daily Tot, and the cocktails are created by industry veterans Gagan Gurung (Tell Camellia and BARCODE) and Princebir Singh, who was previously the head bartender at Zuma.


Minimalist elements of Islamic architecture – like the Sahara-coloured walls and use of arches – make ZZURA a cool spot to unwind. There’s a cosy back area for (slightly) larger groups that’s perfect for private parties and a statement water fountain, playing on the themes of relaxation and paradise.


The curated cocktail menu is split into two sections – Spice and Food, which incorporates commonly found kitchen staples.

We began with the Saffron Milk Punch ($130) and Reincarnation ($120). In the Saffron Milk Punch, saffron and vodka are sous-vided for an hour, then rum, pineapple, cardamom, cinnamon and clarified milk are added and sous-vided for another two hours, arriving at a fruity, creamy, spice-filled cocktail.

Reincarnation contains beeswax-infused gin, lending it a woody, earthy flavour and pairing well with the addition of chartreuse and mint. The initial sip gives an overpowering taste of spicy ginger, balanced by honey.


Around the Globe ($120) comes in layers, with a pure focus on cumin. Yuzu is added to liven up the cocktail.

Date Me Fashioned ($130) is a sweet twist on the old-fashioned, containing date-infused dark rum, coffee bitters and cardamom, making it a great dessert replacement post-dinner.


For something sweet and delicate, Smoky Rose ($120) is recommended. Floral and decidedly feminine, this drink contains smoky gin, clarified apple juice, malic acid and rose.


Verdict

ZZURA is cosy and captivating, encapsulating the feel of the Middle East in a sleek, contemporary space. Utilising Middle Eastern spices and ingredients, the drinks lean on the sweeter side of the spectrum but are refreshing and sophisticated regardless. Mocktails, teas and sharing plates (like spicy hummus, falafel and lamb shawarma) are also available.


2/F, Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central, 2639 9155, book online


This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.


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Ashley Tang

Ashley Tang

The perfect balance of sweetness and tang.