Shook Kitchen takes its name from a type of open-air market in Israel known as a “shuk,” and serves an entirely vegetarian menu. Everything is cooked over open fire using a hand-laid wood-burning hearth and charcoal grill in a central open kitchen.
A custom woven chandelier and a custom art piece overhead dominate the 78-seat space designed by Model Ctzn.
At the front there’s a small retail area where spice blends and custom apparel unique to the restaurant can be obtained along with plants from Botany Floral Studio.
Pass through this mini-jungle to get to a cafe counter where grab-and-go coffee and pastries can be purchased.
The wood-burning oven is used to bake the puffy, fluffy pita that binds together the menu here, made a la minuit using native Ontario red fife flour.
Crispy on the outside and lightly spongy on the inside, it’s heavily dusted with herbs and seeds and has nice bits of crackle and char to the exterior.
It’s an excellent vehicle for dips like m’tabbal ($14), a rich, toasty combination of burnt eggplant, tahini and roast garlic, threaded through with crunchy pieces of roast cabbage and topped with refreshing pomegranate seeds.
Whipped feta ($12) is incredibly tangy by contrast, balanced out by sweet cherry tomato along with Urfa chili and fried oregano.
Hummus ($14) is the signature dip, grainy yet creamy and topped with crispy chickpeas, pickled chili and sumac red onion.
Mushroom kibbeh ($15) pack a wallop for a small plate, crispy mushroom umami bombs plated with tart labneh and pickled mushrooms, along with a hit of truffle honey.
A fig salad ($16) has a base of baby gem that cradles walnut and salty shanklish cheese along with the juicy fruit and an orange blossom and saffron dressing.
Mujadara ($20) is a large plate of earthy green lentils and Baharat rice topped with eggplant and halloumi.
Tah dig ($26) is a hit, creamy mushrooms shining once again encased in a crispy turmeric rice with great crunchy texture.
Malabi from a list of $9 desserts kind of feels like an Israeli shaved ice or cold breakfast, yogurt topped with passionfruit, mango, and airy milk crisps.
The Arak & Roll ($14) combines arak, aromatized wine, strawberry and rhubarb syrup, lemon and Peychaud’s and tops it all with crushed ice and a pomegranate molasses syrup for a bitter yet cooling cocktail.
A Tropical Fizz ($15) combines bourbon, Amontillado sherry, carrot juice, tamarind and maple, topping it off with aqua faba and ginger beer for a cascading effect. Spicy and vegetal, it’s unexpectedly refreshing and addictive.
A sweet, caffeine-free Beets n’ Roses latte ($4.50) is flavoured with cardamom, vanilla, rosewater and beetroot.
A 42-seat patio opens up outside in summer.