Enmore main street at 10:30am … you’d see the remnants of me wheel-chaired out of Shenkin Kitchen.
Delirious grin and in a food-induced coma – a 5-diamond outcome with the challenge feeding a cranky, underfed amateur blogger. I drag two of the most important women in my life along to check this Israeli-themed cafe out. We take position in the back courtyard.
Middle-Eastern twists on Western brunch staples gives a wide array of amazing choices.
A lovely waitress orders us the top three dishes. She also scolds us for an initial mistake of choosing a ‘powdered’ chai latte over a honey-infused, sticky chai tea with soy. Honesty is best served brutal.
The Bite – avocado falafel with poached egg, mushrooms, lettuce and dark rye toast – $16
The magic of ‘The Bite’ is a nondescript fist-sized ball lazily straddled by a poached egg. Add dark rye with mushroom popsicles and a drizzle of mysterious creamy sauce. Just like my first-and-only appearance in the school debate team, I’m lost for words.
Inside the deliciously crispy falafel crust is, lo and behold, a creamy avocado centre! Crunchiness (falafel and lettuce) with creaminess (avo and egg), deep earthy flavours and huge portion side left me in tears.
The poaching job is beautiful, shown below ….
Lorie has a go at the Israeli Big Breakfast…way more than she bargained for. Being a team player, I got heavily involved.
Israeli Big Breakast – scrambled eggs with labanne, avocado, salad, salmon and pita – $18.50
Scrambled eggs beautifully fluffy, well seasoned. Smoked salmon and avacado always a safe bet and I loved the freshness of the salsa. Pricey but excellent value. Minor shame to see just 1/2 avocado with the chef hoping a parsley leaf would compensate.
House-made warm pita bread pouches remind me of two french berets. This pillow-soft interior makes an excellent pouch for the eggs, salmon and salsa. Labanne yogurt is a bit of a cleanser. Delicious, filling and perfectly executed. The charm of an edible beret puts an Aussie bacon and eggs breakfast to shame.
Shakshuka with chorizo – $19
Rich tomato lava, strong but not overbearing garlic flavour and a spicy aromatic kick. Chunks of chorizo and capsicum are entertaining enough. Tastiest baked eggs in Sydney so far (better than Revolver). I’d perhaps like to see a slightly thicker texture.
Notable is the absorption potential of the pita – a perfect scoop for the yummy sauce. This was simple and authentic. With two Filo women at the table, my chorizo allocation was a miserable zero.
So there I was, let off the leash and completely out of control:
– left hand clutching avocado-buttered rye, stacked sky-high with crunchy falafel, salmon and eggs
– right hand armed with a spoon, busy scooping the delicious tomato sauce from across the table.
My eating strategy was one of alternation, leaving both my palate and mind confused. Not sure if my companions were appalled or impressed.
Lucky my company includes a decent anesthetist (mum) and a fare-free chauffeur (wife). I’d never have otherwise regained consciousness nor made it home.
Honestly, I was so full that I had to give lunch a miss. This last happened after I was stretchered out of the Park Hyatt Melbourne breakfast buffet back in March. I’m on a first name basis with the chefs at that joint…
Shenkin Kitchen shoots the lights out:
– Food (♦♦♦♦♦) – remarkably authentic and tasty dishes difficult to find elsewhere.
– Value (♦♦♦♦♦) – mains under $20 but huge portions.
– Other (♦♦♦♦) – loved the waitresses, cosy little setting but long black coffee a fail.
– Overall (♦♦♦♦♦) – a near-faultless experience. I left so happy.
Conclusion – full stamp of approval, happiness guaranteed.
Dish of the day?
Would I return?
No, because I refuse to leave.
A hidden gem and my current best brunch pick. Thanks Lewis for the recommendation.
So there it is. My quest for the perfect brunch could be over. Going forward, do I bother with this blog knowing Cafe Shenkin is almost certainly the go-to place in Sydney?