Shuk Bakery, Elizabeth Bay
Bondi locals have been enjoying Shuk at North Bondi now for a number of years - and testament to their success, 2018 saw the opening of two new eateries under the Shuk name; one in Chatswood, and the other, Elizabeth Bay. As one of the handful of places eagerly recommended by foodies for the best shakshuka in Sydney, this new opening makes it now that little more accessible to those on the city fringe and beyond.
Hidden away from most of the main treks around Potts Point, Shuk fits cleanly into a leafy, bright space underneath Trebartha apartments. For those unfamiliar with the local streets, it makes for a fun discovery navigating the hills and corners around the neighbourhood, in addition to finding a car spot.
In the huge, airy space, excessive staff make up most of the movement between scarcely placed tables - all of which cater for four or more. There’s nothing private if you’re wanting to dine on your own or with one other. Be prepared to share in busier times. Not unlike the scattered staff, the service matches - and we’re asked within minutes if we’re ready to order coffee or food despite already placing our orders moments prior within earshot.
Like the space, the menu is expansive: Pancakes, eggs, fritters, salads, hummus, roast chicken, lamb - and all the baked goods one could desire. Three versions of shak - surprisingly less than what I’ve seen available elsewhere. It’s too warm for hot tomato so I opt for a green shakshuka. I find fennel one of the most underrated vegetables, so to my delight it’s featured prominently in the green shak to bulk out the leafy greens, offering a mild sweetness to the dish. Throw in a few half-moons of zucchini, eggs, and some sharp olive and feta; and you’ve got yourself a green shak. It’s light - and far less creamier than the menu would suggest.
The cilbir bagel is nothing short of a right, savoury treat. Soft, yet densely spongy bagel is generously doused in creamy labne and fluffy scrambled eggs. It towers in contrast to a flat plate of shak, but holds all the guilt in it’s height. There’s a bunch of semi sweet cherry tomatoes and a salty, savoury warm dressing from the aleppo pepper.
Expect strong and serious coffee which pays no favour to flavour. After all, with such lively dishes, you’ll be paying more attention.
Don’t feel this is the best shakshuka in Sydney? Better Bakeries in Sydney? I’d love to know!