Bitter Suite – 7.7
Welsby Street, New Farm
Breakfast: til 12.00pm
The corner of Welsby Street and Lamington Street in New Farm has been a veritable graveyard for restaurateurs, as the red brick facade has housed countless ownership, name, and culinary changes. TCB take a trip into check out the most recent manifestation of the location, Bitter Suite, a cafe/restaurant/bar/beer boutique. TCB’s visit to the previous cafe at this location, Coco Bella, with its rainbow sticker on the door to denote it as ‘gay friendliness’, raised some interesting questions about the institution of two males sharing breakfast at a corner table, but this morning, Bitter Suite offers an alfresco table quell any such suspicions.
There seem to be a host of specials such as wine tastings and happy hours, but that does not do us much good in the am. The breakfast menu is short, but contains the staples you would expect of any reputable breakfast establishments: two varieties of Benedict, a big breakfast, pancakes/French toast, and a grilled mushroom concoction. TCB go with the Bitter Suite breakfast with poached eggs, and the salmon eggs Benedict.
The coffees arrive in decent time, but unfortunately TCB’s nemesis rears its ugly head: Merlo coffee beans. This aside, the barista has done a decent enough job, as the double shot piccolo is well textured, and at the very least strong, albeit a touch bland.
After a bit of a wait the European waitress (that’s about as specific as I can get I’m afraid) delivers the meals. The salmon Benedict on toasted ciabatta has an abundance of its namesake breakfast fish, and the eggs are well poached and drowned in a rich hollandaise sauce.
The Bitter Suite breakfast is a good execution of a breakfast classic: two well poached eggs; handfuls of wilted, sautéed spinach; plenty of crispy bacon; well toasted bread; a mountain of grilled mushrooms; and a long, thin pork sausage (may it be known that TCB likes a thick, stoat lamb sausage but oh well). While there is nothing overtly special about this dish, all the components are done well.
The draw card Bitter Suite appears to be the bar, which seems like a pretty cool little bar, including novelty items such as strawberry beer, not to mention happy hours applying to draught Stone & Wood; and while this may seem like a slight digression from the driven purpose of TCB, I have a sincere hope that it can go the distance, unlike the hordes of failures before it. But back to the important end of the day, the breakfast at Bitter Suite is solid, without attaining the quality of some of the top end New Farm destinations, but with revenue driven by the cash cow that is draught beer, hopefully all aspects of the restaurant will be pushed in the right direction.
Coffee: 7.5 Menu: 7.5 Food: 8.5 Service: 7.5 Ambience: 7.5
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