Kosher food is often defined by what is forbidden – pork, shellfish, the mixing of meat and dairy – rather than what it can be. Shiloh Melbourne is different, combining the skills and creativity of chef Matthew Butcher (ex-Morris Jones) and the ambition of owner Assaf Ben David (he also owns Balaclava's casual Nogga) to create an innovative bagel belt restaurant.
Shiloh's pitch is "sophisticated food with an Israeli skew – oh, and it's kosher, too". Non-Jews are definitely welcome. Shining on the site of the old Limor's grill, there are 95 seats downstairs and a function space for 100 upstairs: bar mitzvahs and weddings are on the radar.
Everything is sourced and prepared under the supervision of a rabbi – there are two on staff to wash and bless the food, unlock the fridges, turn on the ovens and light the wood fire. It's all very new for Butcher, who freely admits his kosher learning curve has been steep.
Dishes include a smoked hummus cigar with black olive ash, wood-fired salmon with Arabic salad and a signature shared lamb feast of braised shoulder, grilled cutlets, house-made sausage and sticky ribs.
The restaurant is dairy-free, which has spurred Butcher to get creative with desserts, such as a chocolate tart with salted peanuts and passionfruit crumble.
Open Sun-Thu 5pm-late.
67 Kooyong Road, Caulfield North, 03 9500 8216, shilohmelbourne.com