This January, following the success of their Bondi and Chatswood stores, Shuk opened their Elizabeth Bay venue.
The Israeli-inspired cafe is at the base of the Trebartha Apartments at Roslyn Gardens. And Yoni Kalfus, one of the four Shuk owners, hopes to replicate the neighbourhood feel (and bustling success) of Bondi.
In Hebrew, Shuk means marketplace, which is the kind of casual, animated energy that the owners want the eatery to channel.
So far, the Israeli-inspired café is proving to be a hit with locals who no longer need to venture beachway for their Shakshuka fix. I chatted to Yoni Kalfus about his thoughts and hopes for his new addition:
How long ago did you open Shuk in Elizabeth Bay?
In January 2019 – we’ve been going for just a few weeks.
What inspired you about the area?
We have wanted to work here for some time. We were looking for somewhere with a gap in the market. This street – Roslyn Gardens in Elizabeth Bay – is perfect for us. It’s got a similar feel to Shuk Bondi, because it’s out of the main drag. The first time we had a look at the venue we loved it. It made me feel good when I walked in. We are loving the spot and the response from the neighbourhood has been great.
What is different about being in Elizabeth Bay, compared to Bondi?
With the clientele, I feel like there are a lot more early risers in Bondi. In Bondi people tend to eat lighter. Everything has to be green, organic, gluten-free etc. It is a little bit different here. The heavier fish and meat dishes sell a lot more here.
The venue is different too. Elizabeth Bay is a bit more modern, it’s a bit cleaner, it’s a bit more European in style. Bondi is definitely more rustic. We have a garden in Bondi, which is very child-friendly. I wish we had one here. But we have an outdoor area and we definitely accommodate kids.
What’s the most popular dish so far?
It’s always the Shakshuka.
If someone has never been to Shuk what should they try?
If they come for breakfast, they should try the Çılbır Bagel, the Shakshuka and the Teff Pancakes. Those three dishes are my favourite. If they come for lunch we have a lunch plate called Beef Kofta Salatim, which is a grilled kofta and a mix of dips and flatbread that we make at Shuk bakery. If you are vegan you can have it with falafel instead of meat. I love falafel, it’s my favourite for lunch.
What do you love about being in Elizabeth Bay?
It’s been great to see just how much people actually like us. It’s been really interesting. A lot of people tell us that they ‘travelled’ from Potts Point to Bondi. Now they are pleased they don’t have to and are very happy to have us around the corner.
Where is your favourite place to eat in the area?
Gypsy Espresso is definitely one of my favourites. In Rushcutters Bay, I go to Marta a lot. I love Marta. I could eat at Marta all day.
We want to take advantage of our proximity to Rushcutters Bay Park. We are hoping to start doing picnic packs soon, so people can grab boxes on the way to the park on the weekend.
You can visit Shuk at 61-69 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay, open 7 days 6:30am-5pm.