Brisbane foodies have been losing their mind over Paddington’s Shouk Cafe’ recently, so of course when I finally got a day off I headed straight over to check it out! Going in with such high expectations is always a risky move, but when those expectations get met, it’s a really good time.
Shouk Cafe is a middle-eastern inspired cafe’ that has lately been sucking reviewers in like a black hole, and it is clear to see why. On Saturday morning the cafe’ was absolutely packed, and you had next to no chance of getting in if you didn’t have a prior booking. It has been a long time since I’ve seen a cafe’ this sought after (probably because working in hospitality means I’m usually going out for breakfast on a Tuesday or other random day, when the real workers are at work) but after eating at this cafe’, I’m not even mad.
The menu itself is nice, but pretty cafe’ standard, however as soon as you start reading it, you realise this is no ordinary cafe’. Normally, there is one or two dishes that immediately jump out at me on a menu, but at Shouk, the abundance of options nearly gave me grey hairs.
With a delightful mix of sweet and savoury options, there is something on the menu for even the pickiest of eaters, every part of the breakfast spectrum appears to be covered. In my quest to cut down on caffeine, which at this stage may be actually replacing my blood, I started off by ordering one of Shouk’s Phoenix Organic Juices, beetroot, apple and ginger; which I can’t really say much, it tasted like juice, and I enjoyed it. Great reviewing skills yes, but they didn’t make it so who cares.
What Shouk did make though, was my Latke Stack, and boy, did they make it well. While I’d never actually heard of the dish before, how could I shy away from a dish described as “Polish Potato Stack”, there is nothing in that phrase I dislike, and its pairings, cream cheese, dill, pickled red onions and of course, haloumi only increased its appeal.
While the other girls Shakshuka, (some sort of baked egg dish with bread), looked pretty incredible, the clear menu winner of the day was Sarah, ordering her signature french toast, of which the Shouk version was Challah French Toast. While the walnuts and berries already had us drooling, the vanilla bean semifreddo turned the rest of us green with envy, and sparked immediate discussion about whether or not we could all fit in two meals.
The answer was no. Our eyes definitely bigger then our stomachs, you definitely don’t need dessert after a breakfast at Shouk (breakfast dessert is a thing, ok!).
Food babies in tow, we waddled out of Shouk, already dreaming of the day when we are no longer too full to return.
Reasonable prices, great service and amazing food will definitely keep us coming back to this Paddington cafe, even if parking is a struggle.
You can find Shouk at 14 Collingwood St, Paddington, between 7:30am and 3pm Monday-Sunday, with additional hours on Friday-Satuday (6:30am-9:30pm).