You Are Our Hope

Published - 16 January 2021, Saturday

Introducing Angeles Herrero, Owner, Kazbar - Middle Eastern Cuisine. In an effort to support the Hospitality industry, Expat Choice is speaking with the change makers on the ground who live and work in hospitality.

Restaurant, cafes, bars and not to forget live music are the life blood of our community. Gathering people together is what hospitality does. It is part and parcel with the industry.

What is to become of this industry during the crisis and then post-coronavirus? What are restauranteurs thoughts? What are their sentiments. Today we hear from Angeles Herrero, Owner, Kazbar - Middle Eastern Cuisine who opens her heart to the wider community.

"These are unprecedented times for most of us. We are all in this together. We must work as a community to make sure we overcome this adversity and rebuild our industry one step at a time – Starting Today.

The hospitality industry is experiencing unprecedented change, dealing with a new set of rules which impact the way we operate our businesses on a daily basis. Change is being experienced by the hour. A new set of rules, a new protocol, putting our industry on its toes, looking over the fence to see a new horizon.

Social distancing goes against everything we aim to deliver in the hospitality industry. The hospitality industry is built on serving people. People filled with food, sharing, conversation and laughter. Our primary role is to “gather people.” 

There is no better time than right now for you to show your support for your favourite restaurant, bar, or coffee shop by buying some merchandise, gift vouchers or food orders delivered to your door, or simply stopping by for a meal or to say hello – we are here for you. We have always been here for you.

Will the restaurants we know and love be able to take this on the chin and stay afloat, or close – with a glimmer of hope to reopen in a post-virus world?  Have you asked yourself how will the cooks, servers, bartenders and restaurant owners make it through the coming weeks and months with little or no income?

Every meal we serve, every drink we pour is how the hospitality industry can keep paying our teams and feeding our communities, but how do we balance this reality with our responsibility to keep our people and our guests safe?

Our loyal service staff are in the front line. They welcome you into our restaurant – our home – regardless of the threat of external infection. We are all in this together. Remaining vigilant, keeping hygiene top of mind. Every service staff has a responsibility, as do you – our guests.
The people who feed you when you’ve needed comfort, popped bottles for you to celebrate, delivered food to your doorstep are the very same people who need comfort and security, Starting Today. Act Now! Do whatever you can, in your own special way to reach out to the workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Please, don’t forget us – we are still here for you. Without you, we cannot exist.

And let’s not forget to support health providers who tirelessly support all of us regardless of the risk they take on a daily basis… as a “people” we have a duty to be responsible for our tribe, for each other.

The hospitality Industry has cities, countries and continents to feed, we need to innovate and create new ways to keep taking care of each other.   Let’s continue to “feed people” – responsibly."

Angeles Herrero, Owner, Kazbar - Middle Eastern Cuisine

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RATED 7.5 / 8
Restaurant, cafes, bars and not to forget live music are the life blood of our community. Gathering people together is what hospitality does. It is part and parcel with the industry.

Sylvia Fernandes

RATED 7.5 / 8
Looking for a great Middle Eastern restaurant? Look no further as Kazbar has it all. From catering to a 200 seater restaurant which includes al fresco and air conditioned spaces, and also offers home and office catering - this restaurant dishes out amazing treats.

I sauntered over to Kazbar on a Wednesday evening about 5pm and watched the different spaces casually fill up. Sipping on a cocktail “From Beirut with Passion” that had fresh cucumber strips, mint, gin and tonic it was entertaining to say the least.

From corporate groups after work to families and individuals, people ordered different things. I was savouring the cold mezzeh platter which had a colourful array of homemade dips with pita bread.

I decided to sit outside on a high table with designed tiles, this in itself so beautiful to the visual patrons like me. Lights in brass lamps that hang from the ceiling at the bar, add warmth to Kazbar that makes me want to stay.

A delightful meal for one if you are looking for a late meal to go with a glass of wine. This was not only healthy, I could taste the top quality olive oil and herbs which are carefully selected and imported directly from the Middle East.

Kazbar has been around for more than 17 years and has two owners - a Lebanese and a Mexican, both of whom know their food ever so well. Creating an ambience of the Middle East with boudoir-type lounge chairs on the inside I decided to have the hot mezzah platter here.

A combination of falafel, cheese and spinach boreks, sambousek and kibbeh this was accompanied with a yogurt dip. Typically I would have been full from these fried delicacies but interestingly I was not.

I gathered it must be the quality of olive oil and ingredients used, that made all the difference. The falafels were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I could have a dozen if I was at Kazbar again.

The best thing about almost everything I had from both platters is that they were vegetarian. I felt Kazbar would be a very easy place to organize a party of 10 or more and I would not have to worry about dietary restrictions. There was something for everyone.

By the time I had the hot mezzah I decided to try the Lebanese house pour red wine. This was my first try of wine from the Middle East and I really enjoyed it.

Looking at the menu of food options just in the mezzeh department, I felt the menu was so varied and interesting that I would have to come back again to try the other options.

While there were wraps in the mains section, I decided to save that for lunch another day and try something from the Kazbar Specials menu. By this time I was yearning for a bit of meat that Middle Eastern restaurants do so well.

The mixed grill platter was my choice as it came with five different varieties of meat. Labelled the “ultimate meat platter” it certainly was! I wish I had a bigger tummy to eat it all but alas, all I could manage was a small piece of each.

Kazbar is famous for their air-flown New Zealand lamb chops. Nothing out of the ordinary you might say but let me tell you this was extraordinaire! Tender to the bite and full of flavor I could tell this meat was marinated for at least 24 hours.

The taste of spices and succulent lamb chops were out of this world. This is a must when you are next at Kazbar. Served with harissa, a spicy dark red condiment this was made doubly delicious.

A sip of wine and I was onto the other meats – shish taouk, shish kebab, lamb and chicken kofta kebabs, all of which were so tasty. Recommended for bigger groups of people as everyone can savour a piece from each meat and order more of what they like.

Other delights on the menu were seafood, stews and vegetarian meals which I didn’t get a chance to try. Definitely a must do on my next visit to Kazbar.

Located in Capital Square in the CBD, this little stunner draws corporate crowds at lunch and in the evenings. Kazbar also does catering for events. I could see myself using their services especially at festive seasons when I am time poor.

For the reasonably priced good portions that I experienced, I would highly recommend this beautiful enclave, if you are ever craving for a Middle Eastern meal.

And even if you feel like a cocktail and snack this is such a super place to be, especially towards year end when the weather is cooler. Sitting al fresco while people-watching is the thing to do.

As the run up to Christmas approaches I know many of us will be looking for catering and dining options. I hope I have placed Kazbar at the top of your mind!