This Middle Eastern Bread is the Star Dish at Shukette

Ayesha Nurdjaja is making some of the best Middle Eastern food in New York City.
Nominated By:
AvatarAdrienne Cheatham
Community Rating:
Must try

“Can I pick bread as my dish?”

It was a strange question coming from Top Chef Season 15 runner-up and Le Bernardin alum Adrienne Cheatham.

Cheatham has spent time in some of the most elite kitchens in New York and has an encyclopedic knowledge of cuisine. So when she nominated the frena at Shukette, we knew it had to be special.

And yet — special doesn’t quite describe how singular the incredibly soft, perfectly blistered open faced bread is. The flat bread is first cooked in a cast iron skillet on a stove then under a salamander with lots of olive oil, garlic and spices. “It’s the perfect bread that makes everything else around it better,” Chatham said.

The frena at Shukette is the product of its owner Ayesha Nurdjaja who fell in love with Middle Eastern flavor and spice profiles. In fact, she says she learned about frena from a Moroccan woman while on a trip to Israel.

“We made 15 different breads together, then I asked her what she grew up eating, and she busted out the frena," Nurdjaja said.

Nurdjaja took that recipe and made it her own.

She says the frena is made to “rip and dip” so it's served alongside an array of middle eastern favorites including pickles, hummus, and an incredible Lebanese whipped garlic sauce called toum.

Nurdjaja says everyone who comes to Shukette orders the frena and if they don’t, she’ll send one to the table.

“The frena is the heart and soul of Shukette.”

Shukette is located at 230 9th Ave.

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