Freshly baked pita bread straight from the oven, Jerusalem kebab over an open fire, za’atar from the mountains, "Gruene Sosse“ with Mediterranean herbs, a show kitchen and a little bit of chaos: The new restaurant BAR SHUKA pays homage to the oriental market.
“Shuk” means “marketplace”. Located in the newly-opened 25hours Hotel The Trip on Frankfurt’s Niddastrasse, BAR SHUKA joins Chez IMA, Maxie Eisen and Stanley Diamond as restauranteurs’ David and James Ardinast’s fourth concept in the former red-light district Bahnhofsviertel. With their new restaurant, the brothers return to and draw upon their roots more than ever: classic Middle Eastern flavours and dishes meet regional Frankfurt ingredients, with touches of Yiddish cooking. “We call it 'New Tel Aviv Cuisine'. Tel Aviv’s food culture is a conglomeration of Arabian dishes, memories of Jewish grandparents’ recipes and culinary trends from around the world. That’s what we’re doing here, just in our own way, through a Frankfurt perspective. We’ve learned one thing throughout the process: Above all, it should be fun.” (James Ardinast)
Heading up the kitchen is Israeli top chef and restauranteur, Yossi “Papi” Elad (Machneyuda, Jerusalem and Palomar, London), who moved to Frankfurt ahead of BAR SHUKA’s opening to develop its dishes together with chef Stephan Kaiser (formerly Chez IMA). The 70-year-old chef values an international team, employing chefs from Palestine, Pakistan or Ghana. “My motto in cooking has always been: All you need it chutzpah. The more colourful the better” (Yossi Elad). His pre-service ritual involves the team sharing a drink of Arrak, an anise brandy that’s considered a national drink in Israel and plays a major role at BAR SHUKA. Wines are sourced from Lebanon, Israel and soon Syria. When Yossi Elad is in the mood, he might do a dance on the counter or start drumming on pots. Balagan for all! Most dishes are made to share family style - some served on Portuguese ceramics (Motel A Mio), others directly at the table.
The menu is divided into four main sections, at lunch and dinner.
The interior design concept by MORGEN INTERIORS and Michael Dreher reflects the harmonious clash between old and modern cultures. Up to 90 people can be seated in the restaurant, while the Patio Rosso (courtyard) accommodates 60. High-contrast materials say it all here: Taking centre stage is the large, open show kitchen finished in Spanish ornamental bricks, and counter tops made from Mármore Verde Guatemala connected to a chef’s table made from 400-year-old oak, at which bar stools by Atelier Haussmann Berlin sit. The walls are done in raw brick with plastered patina, the ceiling in Reseda green (the colour of classic ‘60s machinery), and the floor in blue-toned hexagonal cement tiles from India. Throughout the room, concrete pillars reveal fragments of the building’s structure. The lampshades are made out of baskets from Tunisia and mouth-blown glass pieces from the Czech Republic. The dining tables are produced by MORGEN INTERIORS while the wooden chairs at them are by the designer Richard Lampert. Two large neon artworks on the wall spell out “Friends” in Hebrew and in Arabic. “Our inspiration? Living in Tel Aviv, a great jumble of real values and dramas, colours of the sea and sky, the unfinished as the status quo.” (Thommy Tritsch)
Concealed behind a secret door in the courtyard is SHUKA BAR, the restaurant’s speakeasy sake bar. A short menu offers a well-curated selection of exclusive sake varieties, Japanese whiskey and sake cocktails, in collaboration with ENTER.SAKE. Further information to follow separately.
Owners David Ardinast & James Ardinast
Architects MORGEN INTERIORS and Michael Dreher
Size restaurant 194 m2, kitchen 80m2
Covers 90 inside, 60 outside
Kitchen Manager Yossi Elad & Stephan Kaiser
Partners Levi’s (staff pants), Motel a Mio (pottery)