“We’ve always been open to the idea of opening another venue,” Taylah Canny, one half of the sister duo behind Mount Barker’s Lady Luck cafe, tells Broadsheet. “We went and had a look at this location out of pure interest, and as soon as we saw the view we were like, ‘yeah, we can absolutely do this’.” Looking at the gorgeous surrounding Adelaide Hills scenery, it’s clear why sisters Maddi and Taylah Canny were sold.
Susa, which is pidgin for “sister”, is an ode to the sisters’ Papua New Guinean roots and their beloved nan, fondly known as “Queen Lizzie”. “Nan was the guiding light throughout our childhood into adult years,” says Taylah. “That’s where we learnt the importance of compassion and nurturing and making sure everyone’s well fed.” While their grandmother’s dementia means she can’t be physically present, the abundance of good food and a photograph of Queen Lizzie mean she is always present.
When comparing their two venues, Taylah describes the two cafes as “sisters, not twins”, with Susa carrying the same values but with “a completely different vibe”. Aesthetically, the cafes sit at opposite ends of an eclectic spectrum: while Lady Luck is filled with colourful bits and bobs, Susa is slick and minimalist – “we wanted to let the view speak for itself”. The fit-out comes courtesy of Hicks Construct Co. It’s all curved lines, textured off-white surfaces and pops of warm colour by way of orange sconces, a bowl of lemons, and cushions sewn by Taylah and Maddi’s other grandma.
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As for the food, you won’t find many similarities between Susa and Lady Luck. “We wanted to give Mount Barker something different again,” says Taylah. Expect wholesome dishes like mushroom ragu served with crispy enoki and beetroot relish; Korean roast eggplant with lentils and zingy citrus-forward “mojo” dressing. There’s also a banh mi brekkie waffle served with pork shoulder, pickled carrot and gochujang lime aioli, which has become a popular favourite. There’s a selection of loaded toasties too, including a miso pumpkin number and a Cuban with slow-cooked meats, pickles and melted cheese squished between slices of sourdough from Lobethal-based baker Clara Cakes. Pastries also come courtesy of Clara Cakes, while other baked goods are made in-house.
The drinks list features coffee by De Groot and a range of cold-pressed juices with ingredients like finger lime, lemon myrtle and pepperberry. As for booze, the wine list is concise but well-curated with local bottles from Ministry of Clouds, Alkina, Gentle Folk and Parley Wine – go for the Midnight Disco pét-nat. There’s also beer from Mismatch Brewing and Pirate Life, and cocktails made with Applewood gin.
Spring will see the start of Susa Sunday Sessions, with a bunch of local musicians (including Laura Hill, Oliver Kabbani and Ollie English) booked for the coming weeks. “We want to create a vibe where you can sit on the deck, have a glass of wine and enjoy some live music in the sun,” says Taylah.
1 Aston Parade, Mount Barker
(08) 8388 0384
Wed to Sat 7am–3pm