Townsville foodies open their next instalment of homemade cooking

THE next instalment of Jerusalem-born chef Avi Cohen has arrived and it promises to be another food sensation.

Mr Cohen and his wife Dana Kvatinsky opened Israeli street-food cafe Balabite last year in the North Ward Shopping Centre and today will open Grandma’s in the same set of shops in Eyre St.

The menu is a mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, North African and eastern European dishes, sometimes combined with their Jewish heritage.

“The idea behind it is home-style cooking. Some of the recipes are over 200 years old and all of them are made by real grandmas. It’s pure. Most people love grandma,” Mr Cohen said.

Ms Kvatinsky said many of the recipes, like their tzatziki eggs benedict, came with a twist to suit Townsville’s beautiful climate.

“The menu is designed so people can share,” she said.

Grandma’s will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will also serve cake, coffee, cold drinks like their shop-made lemonade and Jewish-style braided Challah bread. One of the signature all-day breakfast dishes is the classic Mediterranean shakshuka of poached eggs in homemade tomato sauce, served in a hot iron pan with bread.

The lunch and dinner menu includes slow-cooked lamb shank and traditional beef goulash.

The couple migrated from Israel about 15 years ago and previously operated restaurants in Sydney and Canberra, including under the successful Grandma’s name.

Read the article by Tony Raggatt in the Townsville Bulletin.