ZA ZA TA
Ever since Ovolo The Valley announced the arrival of its own signature restaurant ZA ZA TA, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for its official opening. Well, the cat’s out of the bag – the spicy new Middle Eastern-meets-Mediterranean restaurant opened to the public in early August 2019. The 242-seat venue is helmed by Israeli-born executive chef Roy Ner (ex-Nour) and head chef Dario Manca (ex-Attica and Pilu at Freshwater), who have put together a shared-style menu of eats inspired by centuries-old recipes across brunch, lunch and dinner. ZA ZA TA’s mission is to serve dishes inspired by these storied regional recipes, relating the soul, reason and heritage behind each before reinterpreting them as remarkable and familiar dishes. ZA ZA TA’s brunch menu boasts morsels such as wood-fired breakfast manoush and khachapuri (forms of leavened flat bread) with toppings (roast bacon, Cypriot haloumi, labneh and za’atar, smoked garlic), dishes from the kitchen (charcoal ocean trout, shakshuka, poached lobster) and a grazing table option. The main menu is divided into sections – raw and cured bites, nibbles, pickles and snacks, small starters and larger plates, not to mention a significant offering of vegetarian dishes. Highlights include Yemenite butter bread with ox heart-tomato and zhug chilli, fried goats-cheese pretzel with house-made lamb bacon and yolk aioli, Fremantle octopus with camel-hump ‘Nduja, spiced Maremma duck breast with black garlic and foie cream, and crispy Kaddafi snapper. The bar boasts a selection of cold-pressed craft cocktails (made using Middle Eastern spices and garnished with locally-sourced citrus fruits and botanicals), plantation rums, Mediterranean-style gin and tonics, an impressive list of vino from Australia and beyond, and zero-proof drinks such as hibiscus rose tea and limonana. Night owls can rejoice, as the concept also boasts a late-night snack menu from 11:00 pm onwards, inspired by Tel Aviv’s after-dark street-food scene.