Continuing the Stokes Croft theme in the build-up to Saturday’s Stokes CroftFest, we decided to visit the delightful Zazu’s Kitchen for lunch, just one of the businesses breathing new life into the area.
Occupying a prime corner site between Stokes Croft and Jamaica Street, Zazu’s is at the heart of the regeneration of Stokes Croft. A stencil high above its entrance also carries the mantra of Bristol’s cultural quarter: ‘beauty from ashes’.
Zazu’s Kitchen was started by two friends, a broadcast journalist and a psychiatrist, looking for a new challenge. When the challenge proved too much, they closed the restaurant, and it remained closed until October last year when it was taken over by former Brasserie Blanc manager Toby Bywater.
The new owner has kept Zazu’s very much as it was, with the addition of a small deli counter by the front door. The small open kitchen is still in the middle of the room, with a cafe area one side and the restaurant area the other.
Zazu’s has recently started opening a few evenings a week, but my friend Polly and I popped in for lunch, when a more simple menu is served. I had a delicious yellow chickpea curry with rice, served in a poppadom, while Polly had a kofta tzatkika with cuscus.
Fresh from sampling Orchard Pig cider at the Big Cheese Taste Off, this time I sampled their refreshing apple juice. Diners can also help themselves to water, from a cooler near a bookshelf with magazines and newspapers to peruse. Over on the opposite wall is a poster of the movie Sideways and a screenprint commemorating Seasick Steve’s visit to the Academy in 2008.
Look out for more features on Stokes Croft businesses all this week here on Bristol Culture.
Zazu’s Kitchen, 45 Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft. 0117 923 2233.