Middle Eastern Restaurant Souk Opens in Melbourne

This week saw the opening of an exciting new restaurant in Bligh Place, just off Flinders Lane, serving fresh, modern flavours from North Africa, Anatolia and the Middle East. 

Eat My Street was invited along on behalf of the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide, for the opening night. On arrival we were greeted with the “Omar Sharif” cocktail. Pink fairy floss and rose petals atop an elixir of gin, citrus mastic. orgeat and rose water. This delicious and gorgeous drink set the tone for the dinner ahead. There are four other Arabian style cocktails to chose from, including “Aladdin’s Mistress” with Moroccan green iced tea, crushed cardamom pods, rum and mint.

The venue was recently redeveloped by Ergun Elmas (of Elsternwick’s Arabesque) and business partner Vlad Kovacevic and it spans two levels of neon pink and grey gorgeousness offset with striking artwork. Head Chef Rogelio Almanza, comes to Souk via Mexico, America and Japan and seems to have a deft hand when it comes to bringing a little extra kick and sizzle to the flavours on the plate.

To the food. Prawn falafel with smoked black tahini and chipotle hummus with burnt butter and paprika were the opening gambits. Both dishes delivered a fresh take on classic, much loved dishes. I enjoyed the extra dimension that the chipotle and burnt butter brought to the hummus and the prawn falafel had a great depth and intricacy of flavour.

The Kuwaiti Fried Chicken (KFC) was another highlight that packed a big punch of flavour. These little crunchy chicken ribs were fried in harissa and paprika breadcrumbs and I  could have eaten a lot more.

The Turkish Tabouleh with sumac, mint cucumber, mild chillies and roasted pine nuts provided a fresh and zesty interlude for our palates and demonstrates a thoughtful approach to menu design.

Next up was the perfectly tender charcoal octopus which was served with muhammara sauce and roasted potato.

The Chicken and Apricot Kofta continued the theme of giant flavours in small sizes, and it was served on a roasted lemongrass stick that permeated the juicy meatball perfectly.

Dessert was a slow cooked black tapioca pearls in sweet turkish coffee cream.  This dish offered a perfect balance of sweet and bitter, crunch and cream. The  slippery luxuriousness of the tapioca balls were brought to life with the clean, crispness of the coffee. The crowning jewell of berries added the perfect burst of fresh sweetness and deep friend tapioca added crunch. I liked this dessert very much.

Visit Souk for the excellent food that is full of exciting flavours , the modish setting, great service and of course, cocktails to remember.

Happy Eating.

Dani xx

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