A new restaurant and bar, Souk, will open in Melbourne this March, offering diners a combination of flavours from Arabia, North Africa and Anatolia. Meaning Arab market or bazaar, Souk is located on Bligh Place, an alleyway in Melbourne’s CBD.

Owners Ergun Elmas and Vlad Kovacevic took inspiration from Elmas’ Turkish heritage when curating the venue.

“Souk is a wonderland of neons, street art and design. The vibrant space is complemented with contemporary Middle Eastern food and cocktails, as well as an impressive list of wine imported from Turkey, Lebanon and Santorini,” said Elmas.

Housed in the space formerly occupied by The Deanery, Souk is separated into two main areas, with a bar downstairs and a dining space upstairs seating 130 people.

The menu is designed to share, with a selection of small and medium plates. Entres include prawn falafel, served on smoked black tahini with coriander mayonnaise and tomato oil, as well as Souk’s version of KFC (Kuwaiti Fried Harissa Chicken), ras-el-hanout crumbed chicken ribs with sweet cucumber and harissa toum.

Medium share plates include charcoal octopus with muhammara sauce, roasted potatoes, and herb oil; and traditional Turkish meatballs, skewered lemongrass and apricot chicken koftas with capsicum and lemon zest served with beetroot hummus.

The kitchen will be led by Mexican-born head chef Rogelio Almanza, who has worked in Mexico, American and Japan for the last ten years. Almanza has trained in many cuisines including Japanese, Italian and French.

 “I am very excited to be working with the team at Souk. With this menu I have unleashed an explosion of flavours. It's an enjoyable challenge for me because it is gastronomy of the Middle East but I understand the concept very well as it is similar to Mexican gastronomy”, he said.

Licensed until 3.00am Thursday–Saturday,  Souk’s drinks list features a mixture of wines from Australia, the Middle East and Europe, as well as  cocktails such as ‘Aladdin’s Mistress’ with Moroccan green iced tea, crushed cardamom pods, white rum and dark rum shaken with mint.






Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *