The trio behind the CBD's family run Armenian restaurant Sezar and The Black Toro in Glen Waverley have opened a third eatery in Windsor. Dubbed Shukah, it continues the family's focus on Armenian flavours — but you can expect a more casual vibe.
Shukah's menu combines Armenian food with European and other Middle Eastern influences. "It's not traditional stuff," says executive chef Garen Maskal, who co-owns the restaurants with cousins Aret and Sasoon Arzadian (they're brothers). "But anyone familiar with those flavours will get it. [There is] a lot of spices, fresh herbs and slow-cooked meats."
The centrepiece is a Mibrasa charcoal oven, which has been imported from Spain. Maskal describes it as "an upright oven, but fully powered by charcoal and super hot — anywhere from 350 to 400 degrees." From that, you'll be getting smoky, charry meats, fish and vegetables.
Matching them is a small 'punchy' wine list, including Lebanese, Georgian and Armenian drops, as well as a range of cocktails. On top of that, the team is collaborating with Brunswick's Kettle Green Brewing Co to come up with a unique beer that'll be light and floral to counter Shukah's spices.
Erika Lancini has taken care of the design, with pastel colours and, for seating, a mix of banquettes and high stools. A big picture window looks onto the street and there are plans to open a courtyard out the back in time for summer.
The space at 104 Chapel Street, has room for 40 inside and a few outside. "It's like a light-hearted version of Sezar," Maskal says. "It's not a bar, but you can pop in and out for a quick drink or mezze, or go the full slog."