07/09/2004 - 22:00

A little bit of elbow grease at Star Anise

07/09/2004 - 22:00


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Another of Perth’s top restaurants has undergone a radical facelift.

A little bit of elbow grease at Star Anise

Another of Perth’s top restaurants has undergone a radical facelift.

Star Anise owner and chef David Coomer and his wife, Kareen, have applied a fair bit of elbow grease jazzing-up the restaurant, something Neal Jackson and his wife, Linda, have also done with Jackson’s Restaurant.

Both restaurants are six years old and, as Gusto reported last week, Mr Jackson thought it was time for an updated look.

It’s a similar story for Mr Coomer.

A few walls have been knocked out and the bar has been moved so it is now connected to the kitchen.

There’s a padded bench seat and, at a cost of $6,000, Gusto is sure customers will find it very comfortable.

“Everything has changed except for one room,” Mr Coomer says.

“It makes it a bit more modern and more functional because we’ve tied the wet areas, the bar and the kitchen together and there’s no more walking down hallways.

“It’s come up really well and feels much better.”

A new cafe will open up the road from the Red Herring, East Fremantle, in a matter of weeks. Selina Conperger and her sister, Amanda Foley, are currently recruiting staff in anticipation of a late September opening of the cafe, called Zephyr.

“It’s opposite the Leeuwin Barracks, it’s the old Leeuwin Chewin site. We’ve built a brand new building and it’s looking really good,” Ms Conperger says.

“It will be a casual family dining and we will be serving breakfast and lunch and will be doing dinner from November.”

Ms Conperger has spent the past 12 months working the floor of her sister’s Mount Pleasant cafe, Deep Water Point Café and Kiosk.

Ms Foley will still operate Deep Water, with the new East Fremantle cafe to be owned by both sisters.

Between them they have more than 30 years’ experience in the industry.

Ms Conperger says Zephyr will have a large outdoor area to capitalise on the great views.

“We’ve got a big outdoor area; we’re not sure how many covers we can do because we’ve got to put all the tables and chairs in yet.”

Zephyr will be BYO.

Christopher Hiller is planning to open a new store at Mirvac Fini’s The Peninsula project, adjacent to the Burswood Casino. While it’s not due to open until 2006 the new store will be a cafe and gourmet convenience store.

The store be double the size of his food outlet and cafe in Subi, Food by Christopher Hiller, and will be housed in the first of seven towers Mirvac Fini is developing at the site.

“I’ve been negotiating it for about 12 months so we can get it right before it’s built,” Mr Hiller says.

“It’ll be about 150 square metres and will have a cafe with provisions to seat around 70 people, so it’s more than twice the size of my existing store.

“There will be a licensed cafe and a convenience store.

“It won’t be a gourmet store, and it’ll be smaller scale to Herdsman Fresh or Boatshed.

“It’ll sell milk, eggs and fresh produce.

“It’s designed for residents of The Peninsula to shop and we’ve got the cafe that will do breakfast and lunch and maybe dinner over time.

“I’ve always wanted to do our second store. This one [in Subiaco] is five years old now and I’m in a position where I can do another.”

Mr Hiller has also refreshed his Rokeby Road store.

“I’ve given it a fresh lick of paint and put up some new mirrors.”

There’s something romantic about the tale of Greg Nicolson’s acquisition of Grind Espresso in Trinity Arcade.

Mr Nicolson was a barista at Aroma Café at Exchange Plaza. On his way home from work he’d often stop at Grind Espresso to order a coffee.

“I’d be making coffees all day but I’d go past there and get a coffee at the end of the day. We [he and his father] were looking to buy a cafe,” he says.

“I saw a small ad and rang up and found out it was Grind, and then we had to have it.”

Mr Nicolson says he loves the coffee, which is still supplied by Five Senses, but he’s changed the food concept to make it more attractive to the city work crowd.

“We’ve brought in a very experienced chef and he’s putting out some fantastic food. We’ve got the best quiches and really good pasta,” he says.

“We’ve halved the price on everything, and while it’s at a cheaper price were selling much more.”

The cafe is kitted out with wireless technology, allowing busy workers to make Grind their office away from the office.

“People are using it; we just had a gentleman in here who did stockbroking via a live telecast,” Mr Nicolson says.

Mr Nicholson’s father, David, is a joint managing director at Perth electronics company Omnitronics. He has a financial stake in the cafe.

Bluewater Grill executive chef Brad Ford left this week for Mauritius on a cooking vacation organised by Austral Pacific Exports. He’ll spend a week at the Maritim Hotel relaxing by the pool, but also cooking up a feast supplied by other Mauritius cooking vacationers Harvey Beef and Casa Diary.



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