Zohar Flantz, of Luscious Foods in Byron Bay, remembers spending his childhood eating fresh maze, char-grilled skewers and freshly baked breads in Tel Aviv.
Wanting to share this dining experience that he keeps so close to his heart, he created Luscious Foods – a beautiful, cosy cafe that offers a truly memorable Middle Eastern experience.
As he grew up in Israel, Zohar was exposed to a wide range of Middle Eastern foods from his Iraqi, Syrian and Egyptian neighbours, just to name a few. For him, food is an art form. Drawn to explore the flavours, aromas and colours of good food, Zohar is a lifelong learner of all things culinary. With a family whose lives are also kitchen-centric, the food he creates is homely and personal, and tells an important narrative about love and the importance of food.
Since 2005 Zohar has operated a number of different culinary businesses in Australia. Primarily, he worked to cater some of the biggest music festivals, such as Woodford Folk Festival and Splendour in the Grass. Through this experience, he enhanced his abilities and expertise, which he transferred to Luscious Foods in late 2013.
Brazilian-born Head Chef, Bruno Assuncao, has extensive experience with a wide range of cuisines, from vegetarian to Middle Eastern and Indian. Working with Zohar, he tries to source as much of their fresh produce locally to create an oasis of rich, flavourful food.
With an extra-large, central wood-fired oven roaring away, the team prepares everything in-house daily to reflect the flavours of Zohar’s childhood. Authentic and unpretentious, Luscious Foods aims to evoke warm feelings of home.
The menu offers a delicious blend of modern Australian cuisine with Middle Eastern inspiration. For breakfast, fill up on a Harmony Brekky, with two poached free-range eggs, thyme and lime-marinated mushrooms, avocado, herb salsa, goat’s cheese and organic sourdough bread; or try the Sabeek Pied, with homemade mango-pickled hummus, tahini, eggplant, a free-range hard-boiled egg and tabouli, served with a side of hummus.
For lunch, choose a Saneeah Pocket, an Egyptian-style mixture of lamb and beef, with caramelised onions, pine nuts, mango hummus, tahini, tabouli, organic quinoa salad and pickles, served in wood-fired pita bread. Or go for the char-grilled skewer platter, which pairs Moroccan spiced chicken, or Lebanese lamb and beef koftas, with baba ghanoush, mango-pickled hummus, tahini, green salad, zaatar-salted chips and coriander chilli. There’s also a range of burgers, pizzas and salads to tickle your fancy, which all feature enticing Middle Eastern flavours.
Vegetarians are covered here too, with the vegetarian moussaka served with roasted eggplant, sweet potato, zucchini, spinach, quinoa, Napoli sauce, cashews, feta béchamel, mozzarella cheese and herb infusion, among other breakfast and lunch options.
Not only are the choices endless, the flavours and colours of Zohar’s food are truly outstanding. Generous and relaxed, Luscious Foods is the kind of place that feels like home.
For delicious food, bursting with flavour, head to Luscious Foods, and join Zohar on a journey through time and space to somewhere warm, where wood- red breads, hummus and rich spices reign supreme.