True slashie: Shuk in North Bondi is a cafe/bakery/deli. Photo: James Brickwood
It's a scene frozen in time: the broad, flat suburban street, and the tiled corner store with its Tip Top and The Sydney Morning Herald signs. The old ''mixed business'' is an increasingly rare sight, overtaken by fast-food outlets and supermarkets. But before you curse the march of progress, consider this. On the site of an old mixed-business on the back streets of North Bondi now, is Shuk, an Israeli marketplace-inspired corner store that's a true slashie: a cafe/bakery/deli.
On the cafe side, there are juices in jars, eggs on toast and good, smooth, deeply flavoured espresso coffee from Neutral Bay's Bay Roasters. Israeli-inspired breakfasts include a Lady Tradie of slow-poached eggs, labna, radish, lentils, avocado and sourdough and a breakfast board of eggs, salad, olives, avocado, yoghurt and granola. Yes, all at once.
On the bakery side, there is a wall of sourdough and other loaves from the on-site bakery, alongside cakes, slices, little rolled rugelach pastries, and a delicious Linzer cookie ($3), with just the right balance of crisp biscuity crunch and sweet berry jam.
Green shakshuka with olives and grilled sourdough. Photo: James Brickwood
On the deli side, there are wooden boxes of pickling cucumbers, avocados, eggplants and capsicums, and a few take-home options such as preserved lemons and marinated olives. It's not immediately obvious, but apparently the vegetables are for sale.
"Everything's for sale," says co-owner Yoni Kalfus. "Even me." He parted ways with modern Middle Eastern Mint cafe in Surry Hills in order to team up with mates Erez Baker and Ariel Hefer and open Shuk five months ago.
Naturally there is shakshuka, the classic tomato, capsicum and baked egg dish that has long been adopted as a national dish by Israel.
Here, you can have it with kale or chorizo; family-sized for four to share; or green. Is that even legal, a non-tomato shakshuka? The opalescent eggs float like clouds over tender fennel, zucchini, kale, caramelised onions, feta and sumac, with little bowls of green tahini and marinated olives to the side, and some great sourdough toast for dipping. There's also a substantial Shuk salad of mixed roast vegetables and smoky burghul that can be topped with shredded, slow-roasted lamb.
Like the rest of the menu, it's bright, colourful and nourishing - Israeli food that's been tweaked but not twerked, backed by good bread and coffee. All hail the new mixed business.
Do … grab a table on the street.
Don't … miss the house-baked sourdough.
Dish … green shakshuka and sourdough, $16.
Vibe … come-as-you-are neighbourhood cafe/bakery/deli.
- 0423 199 859
- Prices - Breakfast $4-$16; lunch $10-$22; coffee $3.50; dinner $5-$28.
- Features - Cheap and cheerful
- Owners - Yoni Kalfus, Erez Baker, Ariel Hefer
- Opening Hours - Daily 6am-5pm; also dinner Fri-Sat from 6pm.
- Author - Jill Dupleix