Two-year-old ZZURA, a vibey Middle-Eastern cocktail and shisha bar on Hollywood Road, has come out with a new cocktail menu designed around popular Middle-Eastern dishes. The food-inspired menu was so convincing that we examined it for a good few seconds before realising it was not, in reality, a menu for food.
All but one item on the new menu was clearly discernible as a beverage. The Arabic Martini is a take on a classic espresso martini made with cardamom and date-infused vodka, coffee liqueur, and Turkish cold-brew.
Everything else on the menu required a second look. There was the Greek Salad, a fresh and grassy gin-based drink served in a rocks glass with tomato, green bell pepper, olives, shiso liqueur, cucumber and lemon juice, and basil.
We also tried the Baklava, a spirit-forward concoction made with salted butter-washed whiskey, pistachio and honey walnut bitters for a creamy mouth-feel. For those looking for a low ABV cocktail, we recommend the Sharab Tamer, a sweet-with-a-hint-of-tart Aperol and tamarind-based cocktail with Mancino Secco.
Our favourite was the Halloumi: a gin-based drink made with butterfly pea, pineapple, calamansi, and goat cheese. The presence of the goat cheese was apparent at first sniff: funky, but not too pungent. When we took a sip, the freshness of the pineapple and calamansi came through while butterfly pea provided structure and a lavender colour, finally finishing with a creamy aftertaste from the goat cheese. Be sure to also try the Hummus, which the bar staff assured us that, yes, tastes exactly like the dip. Check out the drinks at the gallery below:
ZZURA, 2/F Amber Lodge, 23 Hollywood Road, Central.
Sunday, Tuesday to Wednesday, 4:00pm—12:00am
Friday to Saturday, 5:00pm—1:00am
(Photography: Ryan Putranto)