I’ve attended quite a few menu launches in my time, but none like Bitter Suite. Walking into the intimate dining room, it was like being welcomed into a family home and the energy stayed that way throughout the evening.
Informal speeches - as if speaking to a room full of old friends - dotted throughout the night gave detailed explanations of the food, wine and craft beer. Not once did I see anything to contradict the reputation they’ve built for themselves as New Farm’s local.
Katherine Saunders, owner of Bitter Suite, said she and her husband noticed there was no go-to venue around town that someone could find an old man sipping on a beer, a suit grabbing a drink on his way home from work and an 18th birthday party all lumped together and feeling at home in the same place.
“We’re perfect for a breakfast, coffee, beer, wine, cocktails, dinner, lunch, a nibble with friends, with parents, with children, with the dog. For a party, for a Sunday session, in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the peace and quiet outside, in the buzz and chatter inside, on a barrel, at a table, on a sofa, eating a lot or a little, staying a short time or a long while, and all with extra friendly service,” Katherine says.
And she’s right. With the appearance of a scrubbed up pub, the friendly service of a casual yet classy restaurant and five-star gourmet food, Bitter Suite nails it on all levels.
Head Chef Andrew Birse has captained the new menu and left nothing to be desired. Once wary when I heard the words black pudding, I have been completely turned with their take on the classic dish, served crumbed with poached egg, apple puree and mustard cabbage.
Other stand-outs include the Smoked Jurassic Quail, brined in apple tea then smoked with a mixture of apple and English breakfast tea, plated with crispy pork, house-made ricotta, tomato and basil. The slow cooked Saltbush Lamb rump is also a winner, with red pepper puree, eggplant and walnut, and the pasture fed Beef short rib, with Jerusalem artichoke, pickled onion and kale crisps.
There’s plenty for the sweet tooth as well. Try the white chocolate mousse with citrus curd, burnt honey and rhubarb or the coffee brownie – more chocolate than coffee – with malted stout ice cream and peanut butter ganache.
All ingredients are made in house – where possible – including their own tomato sauce and their own bread.
“We are passionate about fresh food, sourced as locally as possible and prepared from scratch in the kitchen. A happy by-product of this is that 70 percent of the menu is gluten free,” Katherine says. “We try to keep a bit of variety in the menu by using a lot of specials that enable us to showcase new things and utilise what’s in season.”
Stop by for a nibble or stay all night long. You’ll definitely find something to suit any palate here, bitter or sweet!
Cnr of Lamington & Welsby Sts, New Farm
P 3254 4426