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