Unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you might’ve noticed that it snowed across most of England. To us Brits, this was a pretty major event. Flights were cancelled, schools were closed, and pretty much everything came to a grinding halt. Despite this, we thought it would be a great idea to travel across the country back to our hometown of Bristol! Since we were already there visiting family, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out one of Bristol’s newest vegan restaurants; Koocha Mezze Bar. It’s a fully plant-based cafe that serves up delicious Persian food for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. So we got wrapped up and headed out into the snowy streets of Bristol to make our way down to Zetland Road where Koocha Mezze Bar is situated. The journey was treacherous, having nearly slipped on the ice multiple times in my inappropriately chosen footwear (brand new converse with literally zero grip). However, we made it down without any major incidents! We’d heard lots of our friends rave about Koocha Mezze Bar, so knew it would be worth the trip. We were greeted by a warm, cosy space and some lovely staff who got us settled in and made us feel at home.
The interior is quite large, with plenty of seats for groups of all sizes. We arrived on a Saturday, not too long after it had opened, and there was plenty of space, but it filled up quickly as it seemed lots of people had booked a table in advance. It’s been beautifully decorated, using a mix of Middle Eastern style tiles, warm colours and industrial fixtures and fittings. It feels bright and modern yet cosy, with a Middle Eastern twist to reflect their Persian menu.
Koocha Mezza Bar has an extensive menu including breakfast dishes, mains, mezze plates, desserts and cocktails. We went for an early lunch so we could try a little bit of everything. The staff were more than happy to recommend their favourite dishes as we were finding it a little difficult to choose between all the amazing sounding food! We decided to go for one main dish and four mezze plates which we shared, and it was definitely enough to fill us both up, but leaving just enough room for some dessert!
For our main dish, we went for the Doner Kebab for £6.95, which is made from Seitan and served with all the traditional trimmings in a Pitta bread. This is one of their signature dishes, and it really did taste as good as it looks! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a non-vegan doner kebab, but from my memory, this vegan version tasted very authentic and absolutely nothing like those things from late-night greasy kebab shops! The seitan meat replacement had a really great flavour and texture, and all the other fillings were delicious. We also thought it was really good value, for only £6.95 you get a huge portion that would be more than enough for one person if you weren’t looking for a big meal.
Besides all the incredible main dishes, there are 16 mezze plates to choose from as well. At £3.75 each or 4 for £14, they’re a great option if you want to share with friends as part of a big meal, or if you’re not super hungry, having a couple just to yourself. We decided that we would share 4 of them alongside the doner kebab. We went for the Eggless Kookoo which are “delicious spinach balls filled with walnuts and cranberries all dressed in a tahini yoghurt”. This was one of our favourite dishes. It had such a perfect balance of flavours which complemented each other perfectly. We could definitely have eaten a couple more of these! We also went for the Spiced Cauliflower (marinated slow-roasted cauliflower on a bed of Borani yoghurt with pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top). As with all their plates, this cauliflower dish was beautifully presented and we couldn’t wait to dig in! The cauliflower was cooked to perfection and the yoghurt sauce provided a lovely sweetness to the dish. The flavours were aromatic and subtle which went really well with the taste of the cauliflower.
We couldn’t come to a Middle Eastern restaurant and not try a dip of some sorts. There were a few hummus options on the menu, but since we eat this quite regularly we thought we’d try something different. We went for the Aubergine Dip which is made with roasted aubergines, caramelised onions, soya yoghurt, and seasoned with turmeric and mint. You can order flatbread to go with this to dip in, but honestly, we didn’t think it needed it. The flavour was amazing and we could’ve eaten it with a spoon straight out of the bowl! It tasted similar to a baba ganoush, but a little less smokey and was green in colour. It was the perfect dip to go with the rest of our dishes. The final mezze dish we tried was the Rissoles (potato and split yellow patties rolled in rice crumbs and deep-fried, served with a slow-roasted tomato and chilli sauce). These were super satisfying and very filling! The outside was perfectly crispy and the inside was soft but didn’t fall apart as some vegan patties do. We loved the sauce that they came in as it gave the dish some added moisture which helped to counteract against the rissoles which were a little heavier. All 4 of the mezze dishes we tried were absolutely amazing, it was pretty hard to choose our favourite. However, that’s what’s so great about small sharing dishes, you get to try a little bit of everything!
It’s so great to see another vegan restaurant open in Bristol, especially one as good as Koocha Mezze Bar. We can’t wait to go back and try out the rest of their menu!
Koocha Mezze Bar is open Mon – Thurs 12:00pm till 10:00pm, Fri – Sun 11:00am till 10:00pm
WHO’S IT FOR:
- Lovers of Middle Eastern cuisine
- Good for all appetites, the mezze plates are small and 3 to 4 can make up a good meal
- People looking for a meal at any time of the day, they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Koocha Mezze Bar
10 Zetland Road, Redland, Bristol, BS6 7AD
0117 9241 301
Have you ever been to Koocha Mezze Bar? If so, we’d love to hear what you thought. Leave us a comment, like, or share this post with your friends.