Wedged between Georgia, Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey, Armenia isn’t high on most Australians’ holiday lists. Shukah, which opened in Windsor in May, might be as close as most of us will get to authentic Armenian food.
Owned by the folks behind Sezar and The Black Toro, Shukah is a narrow space flanked by pastel-green banquettes on one side and an open kitchen on the other. There are floral wall decals and metallic touches, but all iPhones tend to point to a glowing neon sign on one wall.
- 104 Chapel Street, Windsor
- 9521 3858
Start with cocktails spiked with sumac and small dishes that nod to Armenia’s neighbours – perhaps one-bite brioche circles with tiny fried quail eggs and curls of bastourma (air-dried beef) or tender octopus beneath a salty mound of green olive “salsa”.
Blockish beef kofte swaddled in vine leaves arrives on labne, while jammy persimmon amba (fruit chutney) is the condiment of choice for roast barramundi.
They don’t shy away from fats here, such as in the sticky poached quince dessert that comes in a deluge of brown butter served with dill and (more) labne.
Simply put, Shukah is delicious. But what else would you expect from a country with proverbs like: “How can one start a fast with baklava in one’s hand?”
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