Adelaide-girl relocated to Melbourne. Healthy obsession with live music, film and performance, whiskey, wine and gin, Mexican food, brunch.
Published June 22nd 2011
Have you been searching for a café with a good bar selection, home-cooked meals, great local music and a welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere? Me too. And I've finally found it.
Suzie Wong's Room is an absolute gem, hidden in plain sight next to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (across from The Gov) on Port Rd, Hindmarsh.
Red lampshades, tea light candles and pretty chandeliers mix and match with the retro tables and chairs. Records and license plates adorn the shelves, the wine glasses don't match, local art haphazardly adorns the walls – and anything 'kitsch' is really just charming and fun.
There's an innocence here which doesn't exist in many bars or chain coffee shops in Adelaide. This isn't about making huge profits – it's about creating community and offering personal service with a genuine smile.
Manager Nina Jerebica has created a fantastic (small) live music venue, perfect for acoustic cover sets and singer-songwriters seeking an intimate setting with their audience. The downstairs gig-space basement feels like your great-grandmother's living room, complete with record player and standing lamp; but without the smell of methol and mothballs. And there's enough room at the front bar to fit a guitarist or pianist who will serenade you over dinner.
With menu specials of meatballs on mashed potato and tuscan white bean or mushroom and sage soup, the flavours here are whole and rich and utterly satisfying. Portions are generous, and the ingredients are fresh and organic. Meals can be altered to accommodate gluten free, vegan, vegie or fussy eaters. There's standing menu itemssuch as antipasto (for 1 to 6 people), lamb chevapchichi and vegetarian pizza, but make sure to check out the daily specials board too.
There's about three red and white wines to choose from (I recommend the Wallace) and they're all good quality and well-priced. And there's an option of a 90ml or 150ml glass of wine which comes in handy when it's you're there for an impromptu Wednesday night meal and can't afford a hangover at work. There's also tea, coffee, cider, beer and spirits.
And for music lovers, my favourite part of Suzie Wong's Room was the eclectic soundtrack which featured the Beatles, Kaiser Chiefs, Johnny Cash, Gene Pitney, Lauryn Hill and much more – all in one delightful, surprising and never-boring playlist.
This place won't stay off the radar for long, so jump on the tram and head to Suzie Wong's Room. There'll be a line outside the door for dinner before you know it.