A winning combination of kitchen smarts and great service make this Newcastle newbie a must-visit
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Newcastle exports some pretty neat stuff. On top of orange juice (by the boatload!) and coal, they also ship out beauty queens (on ya, Hawko), rock bands (those irrepressible scamps, Silverchair) and ABC heartthrobs (Rhys Muldoon, you tall drink of Outback Genie). But they’ve started accepting a few imports, too. Beau and Suzie Vincent (together they make – wait for it – Subo) have taken residence on Hunter Street. This might be the couple’s first restaurant, but they boast quite the dance card between them. Beau manned the pans atTetsuya’s, Assiette, Guillaume and Melbourne’s Bistro Guillaume. Suzie cooked at Guillaume and Claude’s before waiting tables at the Burlington. So you get the benefit of comfortable, informed and friendly service in the tiny dining room out front and some really cracking cooking out the back. Confit chicken wings are deboned and crisped up, sitting on a bed of juicy blackened corn and topped with a couple of deep-fried sage leaves, all covered with a puffy, velvety sage- and hay-infused velouté. The whole thing sits on a bed of toasty hay. Hay! A side salad sees the sweet inner leaves of a baby cos lettuce dressed with salad cream and capers, while hunks of cauliflower and rough-hewn mega-croutons are coated in a delicate parmesan sauce – it’s like the world’s nicest cauliflower cheese. But it’s honeycomb made with leatherwood honey and toasted millet that gets us. Here, a slice of creamy milk parfait is topped with chopped-up apricot and raisin bits and millet puffs, and is surrounded by shards of leatherwood honeycomb. Newcastle is seeing a real surge in its restaurant scene – two out of five of our favourite Outta Town restaurants are Novocastrian. But Subo, with their whip-smart delicious food and excellent service, is leading the pack.