A place to gather: Cessnock gets sassy

A cool new neighbourhood bar has just opened in downtown Cessnock. Samasama (pronounced Suma-suma) means “togetherness” in Filipino and is the brainchild of Marlene and Matt Fulham, owners of nearby cult burger bar Burgfiend.

A mural of the Wizard of Oz characters with a backdrop of the Hunter Valley vineyards makes for a spectacular feature wall. “We picked something that all ages can identify with. Just like the Wizard of Oz, opening this venue was about courage, love and bravery.” Marlene said.

Samasama has a casual stylish lounge room vibe, versatile enough for long lunches, first dates, for ladies lunches or to just drop in for drinks and a few small bites.

With a nod to Marlene’s heritage, the delicious list of creative cocktails showcases a Filipino twist. There are shared cocktail carafes, beers on tap and by the bottle, a strong list of local wines and non-alcoholic mocktails. The separate ‘Back Bar’ list features an impressive range of spirits.

The food is all about sharing and the plates are perfect to accompany your drink but can also be combined to create a spread for lunch or dinner. Think wood fired pizzas, tuna crudo, fennel and grapefruit salad with pecorino or braised beef cheek croquettes.

Samasama is open Thursday to Monday. The kitchen is open Thursday to Sunday 12pm – 3pm and from 5pm for dinner. For more info go to samasama.com.au