Match made in heaven

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Food - Anne Gart­ner

THE chal­lenge of turn­ing a bot­tle shop into a restau­rant has seen emerg­ing chef Naomi Bul­ner step up to the plate.

Steve’s head chef, who was ap­pointed ear­lier this year, has been charged with turn­ing the bar’s bot­tle shop into a French in­spired restau­rant, keep­ing the name Wine Store.

“We have one of the best French cel­lars in the state if not the coun­try so the aim was to make a menu re­flect­ing that,” Bul­ner said.

On that ex­pan­sive menu in­clude clas­sics such as coq au vin, cas­soulet and steak tartare.

Beyond the menu, the for­mer store, which con­tin­ues to sell wine, in­clud­ing that made by owner Mur­ray McHenry through his la­bel McHenry Hohnen, has changed.

Plump leather booths fea­ture among rows of wine with a ded­i­cated wine bar, which gen­eral man­ager Glen Par­sons said of­fered a chance for peo­ple to taste a va­ri­ety of blends.

Bul­ner said chang­ing the bot­tle shop into a restau­rant area of­fered din­ers more op­tions, and be­ing in charge of that change pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity for her to es­tab­lish her name in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

“There are a lot of new venues open­ing at the mo­ment, which gives chefs a chance to put their name be­hind some­thing, but re­brand­ing a bot­tle shop into a restau­rant is pretty cool,” she said.

It has been a rapid boil to the head of the kitchen for Bul­ner (28) who turned her back on an en­gi­neer­ing ca­reer.

In the past five years, she has honed her craft at In­di­ana Cottes­loe, Cantina and three years at Steve’s.

She was se­lected to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia cook­ing off at a stu­dent com­pe­ti­tion in London.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d425730

Steve's head chef Naomi Bul­ner heads up a bot­tle shop turned restau­rant. Be­low: beet­root cured ocean trout.

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