Shouk describes itself as serving modern cafe dishes inspired by the markets of the Middle East. It also serves up a healthy dose of friendly service, warm atmosphere and a brilliant flavour combo that I adored.
This flavour combo that I speak so highly of is lime and cumin. Not that unusual, except when presented as a sweet crepe souffle ($15). Brilliant! Pretty sure this dish will become a favourite on the Shouk menu.
Two fluffy crepes filled with a light creme patissiere, flavoured with lime and cumin accompanied by fresh fruit. It’s a breakfast dish or a lunch dessert dish, actually, it’s an anytime dish! The menu says it’s drizzled with pomegranate syrup to finish but unfortunately the syrup didn’t make our plate. Hopefully it will next time, as this would make it absolutely perfect for me.
After ordering drinks (Phoenix Organic Lime & Cranberry sparkling juice and Phoenix Organic ginger beer) Mrs A and I deliberated over many combinations of dishes, finally settling on the following three to share;
Shakshuka, Tunisian style eggs baked in a rich sauce of tomato, capsicum and spices served with toasted challah and olives ($17).
Grilled zucchini and haloumi with flatbread, hummus, olives and rocket ($14).
Lamb Shwarma, slow cooked with flatbread, pickled red onion, olives, marinated artichoke heart and lemon ($16).
We were also very tempted by the Latke Stack of Polish pancakes with two poached eggs, smoked salmon, creme fraiche, dill and pickled red onions ($16) and the corn and zucchini fritters with house-made tomato chutney and grilled haloumi ($17).
You can see a running theme here, can’t you? Olives, haloumi, eggs!
The flatbread dishes were generous in size and tasty. Fresh ingredients made for a very satisfying lunch dish.
The shakshuka was spicy but could have done with a little more seasoning. A crumbling of Persian fetta over the top would have been great. For an extra $2 you can add merguez sausage which no doubt adds that extra spicy flavour punch. The shakshuka is served with challah, a type of bread not unlike brioche, that is traditionally baked to celebrate the Jewish sabbath. It was delicious.
Having been opened a little over two weeks, the current ‘soft opening’ menu is a work in progress that will be tweaked to perfection in the coming weeks. You can see the menu here.
Currently open seven days a week from 7:30am to 3pm, Shouk is offering a clever, tasty menu. If they continue to serve food like we experienced, they are sure to thrive. I hope they do, as I’d happily drive 30 minutes for the crepe souffle 🙂
Coffee is by Veneziano. Milk by Maleny Dairies and eggs from Top of the Range Eggs in Redland Bay.
Note: Mrs A and I paid for our meals.
Shouk, 14 Collingwood Street, Paddington
ph: 07 3172 1655