One of Canberra’s most-experienced food critics and this paper’s longest-serving columnist, WENDY JOHNSON indulges herself with her top eating experiences for 2018
IT’S pretty hard not to be smitten about Bitten.
Bitten Goodfoods is Braddon’s first grocer and you can grab a bite to eat while there, with a small number of tables out front and several lined up at bench seating inside, with the area featuring a massive cactus and other indoor plants. If you prefer, you can grab take away.
Bitten is all about organic, chemical-free fruit and veg, pasture-raised and/or grass-fed organic meat and poultry, vegan and vegetarian dishes and other “good stuff”. It’s on the ground floor of the new Palko Building, Lonsdale Street, and after you’ve enjoyed a bite or a tea or coffee, you can head to the back and shop for groceries, chemical-free body and beauty care and eco-household items.
Even if you’re not a “health nut”, Bitten dishes up great food, like the Singapore curry I dug in to on my first visit.
Bitten offers a full range of mega smoothies and has Kombucha on tap (fermented, not stirred). They’ll serve the Kombucha “straight up, muddle into a mean mocktail, fizz over ice-cream or blend into a slushie infusion”.
While Bitten focuses on all things healthy, everything is very accessible for a wide range of customers, both on the café and grocery sides.
Meals are reasonable prices and hot-meal specials rotate. The vast majority of ingredients are organic.
The Sri Lankan curry bowl (only $18) featured brown coconut rice and was absolutely loaded with colourful barbecue organic vegetables. Fresh herbs graced the dish. The curry sauce was packed with flavour and the cool and smooth coconut raita soothed my palette. All up, it was a fantastic lunch.
On my visit, the specials board (written on brown paper behind the counter where you order) also featured deconstructed baba ghanoush ($20), a Paleo Mediterranean lasagne ($20) and a Greek Briami (mixed roasted vegetables) ($16). Soups, to warm your tummy on cold Canberra winter days, come in a small cup ($6), a large cup ($8) or a bowl with sourdough ($14). It’s a great idea to offer the three options.
Toasties are $13 and the Quesadilla with jackfruit, toasted blue corn tortillas, spicy salsa and other goodies sits at $16.
The pana cakes and chocolates look amazing, although I didn’t indulge. While they’re raw, organic, vegan and handmade, free from dairy, soy, gluten and refined sugar (whew), Bitten promises they’re delish.
Bitten Goodfoods, ground floor, Palko Building, 27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Open seven days (hours vary), 10 per cent surcharge on public holidays (not for groceries).