The popular Middle Eastern restaurant at Ovolo the Valley hotel, Za Za Ta, has relaunched with a vegetarian menu. The move follows a lengthy shutdown of the hotel earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to the closure of Za Za Ta from early April until mid-July.
Israeli-born executive chef Roy Ner is now solely responsible for the kitchen after the departure of head chef Dario Manca in July. Ner has used the opportunity to create an entirely vegetarian menu that dials up Za Za Ta’s references to Tel Aviv, a city renowned for its plant-based dining scene.
“Our menu is designed to be easy without much thought for the diner,” Ner said in a media release. “We are staying true to the heritage of our food with ancient recipes and techniques, but we’re evolving what we do.”
On the meze menu there’s charcoal eggplant with bullhorn peppers and walnuts; hummus finished with braised chickpeas and a 63-degree egg; and silverbeet and feta borek fingers (pastry stretched paper thin and stuffed full of cheese, spinach and cultured butter).
Further down the menu there are shish-barak inspired pumpkin dumplings, lentil and mushroom dumplings, and a woodfire and charcoal section that includes an oyster mushroom shish cooked on a robata grill and finished with minted yogurt and chilli, and cauliflower shawarma served with smoked labneh, pickled fennel and quince.
The drinks list has also been refreshed with a clutch of new cocktails. The wine list remains largely unchanged, with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern drops as well as local wines inspired by those regions.