In Israel the central marketplace is known as The Shuk. It’s a place to shop for the freshest local ingredients. Perhaps more importantly, it’s a gathering place where gossip, news and food are shared with friends, neighbours and even strangers.
Bondi’s newest cafe, Shuk, is housed in an old shop-front which served as a mixed business for more than 40 years.
Owner Yoni Kalfus hadn’t planned on starting a new restaurant just eight months after parting ways with his Moroccan-inspired Cafe Mint in Surry Hills, but as luck would have it, one morning he walked into the local mixed business on the corner of Mitchell Street and walked out with a location for his next venture. It didn’t take long to get mates Erez Beker and Ariel Hefer onboard.
“Our vision was to create the kind of meals that we would have eaten with our families in Israel,” says Kalfus. “But Israeli food has changed in the last few years; a lot of young chefs are going abroad and bringing inspiration back to the kitchen.” Kalfus and Beker wanted to capture some of this fusion on the menu, adding a twist to the Israeli tradition.
If you’re a fan of shakshuka, Shuk won’t disappoint. The family-sized dish of baked eggs in a spicy, thick tomato and red capsicum sauce is served with slices of freshly baked bread, made to scoop up as much of the sauce as possible. Also notable is the Beghrir, cinnamon and almond meal pancakes with honey-lemon glaze, halvah (a common in parts of the Middle East and North Africa), berries and crushed pistachios.
Shuk also offers a variety of pastries and breads, so even if you can’t stay, pop in for a takeaway pastry and coffee.