Degustation dinners are one of our favourite things, especially if they don’t involve small portions or stuffy waiters. And so, on one of Sydney’s last balmy nights of the season, we made a beeline for the vegan night at SHUK Bondi and let’s just say they’ve nailed the restaurant trifecta—large portions, amazing wine and awesome staff.
From the moment we sat down, to the moment we left, it was top notch. Hump day has never felt so good!
The menu changes regularly, but we’ll give you the low-down on everything we ate and loved on our visit to SHUK. Firstly, we ordered a rosé and a cheeky Saporo beer, because priorities. But (as is the case with a degustation) we were then able to sit back, with all difficult decisions out of the way and enjoy the feast.
Before the meal started rolling out, we were presented with a passionfruit shot, which is less about the booze and more about fruity goodness. Served in a passionfruit half, we knocked it back and were ready and raring for the meal to come out.
First cab off the rank were the dips. To call them merely ‘dips’ is a huge understatement, because there’s three of them and they’re served with a board of assorted bread, all baked in-house. My favourite was the fava bean, because it was kind of meaty (in a good way) and I may have left the bowl squeaky clean—don’t you judge me.
Next up were the sweet potato falafels and eggplant shakshuka—because a trip to SHUK without shakshuka is just plain wrong. Again, I mopped the plate clean with any left over bread because it was one of the best damn shakshukas I’ve ever had in my life. This was followed by sweet potato falafels, citrus marinated vegetables and the promise of a dessert tasting board (now I’ve got your attention, don’t I?).
But before we get there, let’s talk about the more substantial dishes. There was salt-baked beetroot served with lentils, carrots, spiced nuts and onion ash (yes, onion ash). Slow-cooked mushrooms, which were served with miso, freekah and homemade kimchi were mouth-wateringly delicious. By this point, you’ll be really full but not so full that you can’t take on dessert…because we’re pretty sure that’s impossible.
When the dessert tasting board was dropped on our table, our evening became 300x tastier. There were things like rose-flavoured pudding served in a teeny tiny glasses, raspberry sorbet on a bed of chocolatey goodness and assorted stone fruit cut into bite-sized pieces.
SHUK is great every day of the week and, in addition to nailing vegan nights every Wednesday, they also do a mean breakfast you should definitely check out.
But if you time isn’t on your side, drop by their bakery, because these treats are what you’re in for.
Image credit: Caitlin Hicks