Paddington, Brisbane – If you’re a human in Brisbane you’ve no doubt come across the fanfare welcoming Shouk Cafe to Paddington (behind the Antique Centre). Despite opening just earlier this year, I can firmly say the ravings are valid and Shouk Cafe is already one of my favourites. Named for the Hebrew “marketplace”, the menu has a distinct Israeli flavour and I, like the rest of Brisbane apparently, am overjoyed.
Israeli cuisine is diverse and excitingly different to the current Brisbane offerings. Given my love for Israeli food and my Jewish heritage, I was determined to judge Shouk as impartially as possible and so my first few visits were with my parents: sufferers of no fool and swayed by no cutesy activity. Shouk passed the parental good-service-delicious-food-reasonable-prices-great-coffee test with flying colours so rest assured that you will be abundantly satisfied and well looked-after. The difficulty lies in choosing a dish and then finishing that dish.
I was at first astonished to see challah – sweet Jewish bread traditionally served on Friday night – on the menu and then ecstatic to see the wondrous Israeli breakfast is also served. Other options – the latke stack (potato fritters with smoked salmon), the shakshuka (baked eggs in spicy capsicum and tomato sauce), the cumin and lime crepe soufflé drizzled with pomegranate molasses – are all as divine as they sound but the Israeli breakfast, oh my!!! Eggs done your way, a basket of bread and pastries, hummus and other condiments, breakfast salad (yes– tomato, capsicum, red onion, cucumber), cheeses, smoked salmon, pickles: it’s a feast table that leaves you satiated and smiling.
View: www.shoukcafe.com.au; Visit: 14 Collingwood Street, Paddington 4064; Open: 7.30am – 3pm everyday; Wallet: Averageby