With “Make Food Not War” neon leading into the Lebanese street food dugout bar; huge murals of Arab people in the cocktail bar; and a flight path map centralising the Middle East across the dining room; Kazbah’s Potts Point empire might be just what we need. Throw in a Catalan chef – Quim Hernandez Maluquer – and you have quite the cultural melting pot, ranging from Turkish Delight Danishes ($5) in the bakery to Sardine Kebabs ($17) in the spacious restaurant. As Quim explains, his homeland is just two-and-a-half hours by plane from Lebanon and uses “all the same ingredients”. That said, his menu tweaks here, including 10-Hour Suckling Pig ($68/2 people) with green apple, mustard and honey sauce, are worth coming in for, even if you’re familiar with other Kazbah restaurants. The moist and generous pork leg suits a clever Grilled Cabbage ($9) side I’ve never tried before. While wines, especially the 2013 Amisfield Pinot Gris ($65/wine), are lovely, it’s hard to beat the 961 Lebanese Pale Ale ($9) in food matching terms, when it contains thyme, sumac and mint. Brazilian Manager Vinni Dias adds warmth and genuine enthusiasm to the floor, whether he be flaming your Kazbah Bombe ($14) using Kurant Vodka, or learning to get height whilst pouring Moroccan Mint Tea ($4).
9-15 Bayswater Road, Potts Point
Ph: (02) 9555 7067 pottspoint.kazbah.com.au
Bar, Lebanese, Turkish, Moorish, Middle Eastern $$$