The Harbourside of Bristol is well known for all its restaurants so we were intrigued when we heard of Za Za Bazaar and its world banquet and bar which opened in Bristol in December 2011 serving a whopping 2100 diners per night. Recognised as Britains largest restaurant (30,000 sq/ft) with over 700 covers the proprietor Surinder Kandola spent over £3 million outfitting the restaurant to give you (the diner) that little taste of our continents. Mr Kandola is not new to the food business being the owner of 22 Domino’s Pizza franchise.
First impressions are always a must for customers and the staff who you book your table with definitely need some training in staff/customer communication, sat behind their desks as you enter the door they are a total face of doom and gloom all ye who enter here.
With trepidation we were directed upstairs and duly made our way to be met by a row of smartly dressed waiters (like from a dickensian novel) waiting to show us to our table, really impressed with that. However, the person that showed us to our table had a real attitude problem, very abrupt and quite dismissive, shame really to spoil the effect.
The central part is split into pods, where you have Indian, Chinese, European, Tex-Mex, Salad and Dessert.
Each pod has an array of delicious fresh cooked food that promises to have something for everyone and is decorated with vivid backdrops, reflecting the cultures from where they originate adding a great look and feel to the place.
As well a some pre-prepared dishes, for the more adventurous the chefs on hand will also cook up for you the ingredients that you choose.
The concept is the brainchild of Executive Chef Nitin Bhatnagar who wanted to recreate the buzz of a night market and here Za Za Bazaar does not disappoint with its 36 chefs and 120 staff.
A waitress came to our table and asked about drinks which we ordered. Now a word of caution here fellow diners, drinks are expensive here so be warned.
There is a lot of hustle and bustle going on all around, with staff moving clean plates to the pods etc. and waitresses clearing away plates as each is finished but this is carried out with efficiency by those members.
Well you know the saying when in Rome and all that… so we began our round the world banquet at the Chinese Pod and there such a vast selection of food from noodles and fish and rice, chicken and pork that I had to go back twice to sample everything!
Between the three of us we tried to sample as many varied dishes as possible and I must say that all of the food sampled was tasty and well cooked, presented in large steel serving woks. I have to recommend the king prawns which were amazing and the steamed fish was really tender and the noodles and beef were delicious.
Next pod was the Indian section and that did not disappoint, numerous curries and various rices were on offer whilst the chefs cooked large indian kebabs in front of you, the smells were amazing.
Now with such a banquet the secret is to pace oneself so we took our time and finally ended up at the dessert pod. Here is a child’s dream come true, like being let loose in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory, rows upon rows of cakes, sweets, chocolate fountain and ice cream, your just spoilt for choice but for me the prize was the Gulab Jamun, a delicious indian sweet in syrup that I always try to order when at a restaurant and to find it here was amazing.
If it is a romantic evening that you’re looking for then I would not recommend Za Za Bazaar as it is not that sort of place but if you’re looking for a lively place which will bombard your senses with smells and sounds from the world then this has to be the place to visit. We will definitely be coming back.
This may be the biggest restaurant in the UK but you will still need to book a table because it gets busy here.
Za Za Bazaar
Bristol BS1 5UH
Telephone 0117 220330
Eat till you drop:
Weekday lunches £6.99
Weekday evenings £12.99
Sat and Sun lunch £9.99
Fri-Sun evening £15.99