Unbelievable response to Ballina's newest restaurant
TWO Israeli brothers have proudly brought authentic Middle Eastern cuisine with a dash of Sydney chic to Ballina
Roy and Shai Chason opened their new restaurant Chefandshuka last week and can't believe the community's response to the menu's cafe-style, Middle Eastern inspired medley.
"Business so far is surprisingly hectic, the last three days have been packed," Roy said.
"We wanted to bring the community an experience of flavours and really good coffee and the reactions have been more than expected. It's unbelievable."
Chefshuka's menu offers cafe style dishes such as smashed avo through to traditional Israeli meals like shukshuka, hummus, falafel and peasant food with a restaurant-plating touch.
"I never thought in my life that I was going to sell so much hummus and falafel in Ballina," Roy said.
"Shai did though."
Shai chimed in: "90 percent of the menu is made by Roy...except some bread, but we will eventually make our own".
"The whole idea is make fresh and home made."
Roy said they had achieved their goal of bringing Sydney to Ballina.
"We are from Sydney, I worked in big restaurant there for the last five years as head chef," Roy said.
"We are also bringing our coffee from Sydney from The Little Marionette, because I insisted to have a different coffee to the area. We have pretty much brought Sydney here."
Shai left Sydney for Ballina four years ago and opened his hair salon, The Lounge next door to Chefandshuka two and a half years ago.
"Business picked up really quick," Shai said.
"My customers in the shop are pretty much friends and family, that's how I see them.
"Then we decided there was an opportunity here and we decided to take over this shop. There was a gap here and we filled it ... because there was not many places to eat around here, they are all the same."
With plans to expand the menu and the shop in the future the brothers also plan to eventually open for dinner.
"We are looking for some extra staff, so drop in if you feel you would be experienced enough to join our team and we will have a chat," Roy said.
Find Chefandshuka at 43 River St Ballina. Opening hours are from 6.30am-3pm seven days a week.