25-27 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1HP
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Couples, Families with teenagers, Stag / hen parties, No fuss, Relaxation, Romance
Expert review of Kazbar
Kazbar was opened in 2001 by Clinton Pugh who is responsible for some of the most eccentric and lively places to eat in Oxford. The idea was to turn this small corner shop and its glass extension into a refuge for escapists who want to feel they are in a Moroccan riad or a “souk-inspired-cavern”, as one waiter explained it to me.
Of course tapas is not a traditional Moroccan style but Kazbar’s fusion of Spain and Morocco works well. The fusion tapas are delicious, authentic and washed down with great wines. There are about 20 tapas dishes on the menu including eight vegetarian.
Four chilled sherries are on offer by the glass. “Jerez is the most misunderstood wine in the world”, reads the menu; they certainly make a good accompaniment to tapas. Sangria is available for those who prefer something more obviously Spanish. There are also beers and ciders imported from Spain and Morocco and Moroccan iced tea, if you’re driving.
Smooth tadelakt walls and authentic Moroccan lanterns create a sense of the exotic. Lit by candles, there's a tangible whiff of North Africa, which can be disorientating when you come out and find yourself on Dawson Street in the rain.
Relaxed and friendly.
On the corner of Cowley Road and Dawson Street with Café Coco directly opposite. You can’t miss the ochre paintwork and the glass conservatory. Coco and Kazbar sit amid an eclectic mix of neighbours: Annie Sloan Interiors “home of the best paint in the world”, Eau de Vie natural health store, Bridget Wheatley contemporary jewellery and several tattoo parlours. Cowley Road is definitely the edgier side of Oxford, but not dangerous (unless you are actually looking for a fight).
Each tapas is priced just over £3, so the overall cost all depends on how much you order. Half price tapas is available Monday to Friday between 4pm and 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 3pm-4.30pm. Now that's good value.
Oxford has its own Clinton chain. There's Café Coco just opposite (01865 200232), Café Tarifa further south down Cowley Road (01865 256091) and Café Coco at the Royal Oxford Hotel (01865 793857).
More information on Kazbar:
- Price guide:
- Tapas bar
- Moroccan, Tapas
- 25-27 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1HP
- 01865 202 920
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Mon-Thurs 4pm–midnight; Fri 4pm–12.30am; Sat noon–12.30am; Sun noon–midnight.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Essential at peak times