If you judged a book by its cover, you might never peg Hellbound as a serious wine bar. The retro-feel ‘wine bar’ sign that points prospective customers down a flight of stairs may be encouraging, but it speaks more of dive bar than it does Willi’s Wine Bar. There’s a giant caricature of a Rousseau…
Budburst Small Bar
Budburst was acclaimed sommelier Rachael Niall’s first foray into her own wine bar/restaurant, taking over from what was the Wee Bar in 2015, in Mount Hawthorn, Perth. Stripping back the previously eccentric decor to distressed brickwork accented with the warmth of timber, Niall created a casual and comfortable vibe with a distinctly European slant. The casual wine-imbibing and charcuterie-dabbling activity was in the front, while more structured dining occupied the room behind, which was visually connected with a central incursion in the brickwork, bringing in light and minimising any sense of isolation.
The menu spanned Euro-inspired classics from chef Gwenael Lesle (Bouchon Bistro), which covered the bases from toasted sandwiches to slow braises. Central to the menu was the house-made charcuterie selection that spanned parfait, terrine and the like, accompanying salumi and imported and local cheeses. The wine list was a distinctly dogma-free zone, with the only guiding principle being that listings needed to be of wine that Niall wanted to drink. The most reasonable bar that needs to be cleared, for sure. The main list snuck towards 150 offerings, while there were 20-odd broached bottles sold by the glass at any one time.
And if you’ve missed the contact deals in the sidebar and are wondering what’s with all the past tense usage, it’s because Niall sold Budburst in late 2018, and the new owners are pushing the site in another direction. For a venue that was so intertwined with its owner, this is hardly surprising. Well one door closes… we’ll be eagerly awaiting what Niall does next. Stay tuned!