Shakshuka fans will be happy to hear the team behind Bondi’s immensely popular Middle Eastern cafe Shuk is opening a second outpost under the Trebartha Apartments in Roslyn Gardens. The redevelopment, just around the corner from Rushcutters Bay Park, is still under construction, but is slated for completion in early spring.
In an area with little choice outside Macleay Street, it’s a win for locals. “When we looked at the neighbourhood we realised it’s one of the most densely populated areas in Australia. We walked down to the park, up and down Macleay Street, and realised you have to walk or drive somewhere outside the area to visit a decent cafe. It’s time for something good in the neighbourhood.”
The reason it’s taken the Shuk trio, Yoni Kalfus, Erez Beker and Ariel Hefer, five years to expand their Israeli-style bakery brand is they wanted to do it properly. “We were looking for a long time to expand outside Bondi. We had to make sure the feel of the neighbourhood was right. A lot of groups rush into things,” says Kalfus. (The trio did work with Salt Meat Cheese to open Popina Kitchen at Circular Quay, but it has since shut).
Israeli-Argentinian head chef German Sanchez has designed a menu that looks a lot like Bondi’s – although he plans to capitalise on the new parkside location (it's 150 metres from Rushcutters Bay tennis courts) by offering a decent takeaway menu. All the classics will be there too, from the shakshuka (baked eggs in a spicy tomato sauce, which is known to draw crowds) to the hummus with lamb, as well as the grilled-haloumi salad. “[Sanchez has] taken the dishes we all love from back home [Israel] and put his spin on it,” says Kalfus.
A selection of Shuk’s signature bread and pastries (including challah, bagels, sourdough, doughnuts, muffins, cakes and cookies) will also be available. Dinner will be a focus too, with an alcohol licence still pending approval.
The fit-out will echo the Bondi venue, with black and white tiling and wooden shelving lined with preserves and spices. But, Kalfus says, “Elisabeth Bay will be slightly more modern.”
Shuk Elizabeth Bay is slated to open in spring this year.