The Little Prince has found a Tempeh Temple princess to help its customers feel royal

New dining experience: Jules Mitry and Katie McKenzie with some of the dishes on the new spice inspired menu at The Little Prince. Picture: Greg Ellis.
New dining experience: Jules Mitry and Katie McKenzie with some of the dishes on the new spice inspired menu at The Little Prince. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Patrons at The Little Prince on Tuesday night got a sneak taste of a new first of a kind bar menu in the Illawarra.

Owners of the bar have regularly changed things up over the last six years to keep the romantic meeting place for fresh but this time they have come up with something completely different with the help of Balinese Spice Magic owner who has designed a completely new menu for The Little Prince. 

Jules Mitry has been wanting to start a wholesale business doing tempeh and a unique plant based tapas bar in about five years to provide a food experience that is a little different to the more traditional Balinese inspired menu in her restaurant.

Tempeh Temple has a much broader Asian influence and is already being met with favourable feedback for its flavours this week.

The Little Prince co-owner Katie McKenzie said it was important to keep evolving and she and the other two owners feel like they have made a unique discovery that will really compliment their bar.

“Every 12 to 18 months we like to do something different with the place and every once in a while we change the kitchen up quite dramatically,” she said.

What Jules and the Tempeh Temple team are bringing is a totally different style that is fresh

The Little Prince co-owner Katie McKenzie

“Previously we had more of the classic style bar food. But what Jules and the Tempeh Temple team are bringing is a totally different style that is fresh and will suit our drink list. I always say we are a good place to bring someone on a first date. I think with this it still is.”

Mrs McKenzie first became aware of Mrs Mitry when Balinese Spice Magic won a Wollongong City Retail and Business award a few years ago. She said the business really stood out as unique and exciting. Which is why she made the approach a few weeks ago when they were looking for someone to run their kitchen. And their timing was perfect.

Ready to serve something new: Jules Mitry and Katie McKenzie at The Little Prince in Globe Lane, Wollongong. Picture: Greg Ellis.

Ready to serve something new: Jules Mitry and Katie McKenzie at The Little Prince in Globe Lane, Wollongong. Picture: Greg Ellis.

“Everything has come out of the blue,” Mrs Mitry said.

“This has come about quickly and the first night everyone was positive. The way I have designed the menu is based on their new cocktail menu. And every time they change that my menu will be changing. I like the new challenge. And cooking something other than Balinese is fantastic It is a completely different concept.”

Mrs Mitry is setting up the kitchen process this week and training two people to help her establish the new concept in Wollongong.

“I like to do something completely different,” she said.

“I am creating something new.”

From Bali, with love

Land of opportunity: Juliana Ni Wayan (now Jules Mitry) with Elle Peters in 2004.

Land of opportunity: Juliana Ni Wayan (now Jules Mitry) with Elle Peters in 2004.

Original Greg Ellis story in 2004

JULIANA Ni Wayan is living a fairytale. As the only child of a lower-caste Balinese family she has worked hard to support her parents since she was five.

But when her path crossed that of a Wollongong family holidaying in Kuta in 1999 a chain of events began that provided her with a unique opportunity.

Elle and Garth Peters had enjoyed holidaying in Bali since 1984.

But when Juliana took care of their their children Grace and Grant at the Bali Dynasty kids club they began to form a long-term friendship.

During a family holiday in 2001 Juliana invited Grace to spend a night at her village and helped the family buy some land.

In return they invited her to visit Australia.

When she made the trip in 2002 the family discovered she had placed second in Bali's equivalent of the HSC despite breaking her right wrist in a motorcycle accident and completing the exams with her left hand.

The result won her a hospitality scholarship in Jakarta.

But coming from a very traditional family, supporting her parents was considered more important than an education.

Knowing how much she wanted to study, Mrs Peters investigated ways to bring her to Australia.

"I went back in November of the same year just to verify everything was still fine with the family," Mrs Peters said.

"They said yes and I started the ball rolling."

But by the time all the paperwork was completed she was three weeks late starting her tourism and hospitality management course at Wollongong TAFE.

Through hard work and determination Juliana quickly caught up.

"I am doing all right," she said modestly.

TAFE Illawarra hospitality management teacher Robert Long said Juliana was an outstanding student who had grown in confidence and ability.

She is one of 38 tourism and hospitality management students involved in a unique training program to promote this month's Illawarra Folk Festival.

Juliana's family live an hour from Kuta in Baturiti.

As a young child she supported her family by carrying bricks on construction sites.

By the time she met Grace Peters she was a 14-year-old working at the Bali Dynasty.

"I said to one of the managers there give me two weeks, if you don't think I am good enough you can just put me in the bin," she said.

"After two weeks he paid me to work there."

Juliana lived with a family at Kuta.

A normal day started at 5am when she would get up, make breakfast and get their children ready for school.

She would then work until midday, go to school and then work from about 6pm to 1am.

"If you have less money you have to work for the people who have more money," she said.

Juliana Ni Wayan (now Jules Mitry) with Elle Peters in 2004.

Juliana Ni Wayan (now Jules Mitry) with Elle Peters in 2004.

Mrs Peters had no doubt growing up in such a culture had provided Juliana with a work ethic that now helped her succeed at TAFE.

She was totally dedicated to study and didn't socialise much.

A 250cc motorbike gave her some freedom but she only used it to get to and from TAFE and work.

Her father was a labourer and her mother sold vegetables at the markets. When Juliana came to Australia the Peters family invited her parents to farm the land they owned in Bali but Juliana still worked a variety of jobs to support her parents and repay the Peters for their hospitality.

She cleans homes for five families and also works at Addison's Seafood Grill and Bar.

While she didn't get out much Juliana had developed a passion for fashion.

On her first trip back to Bali her father almost didn't recognise her when she walked off the plane in a tartan mini skirt, long black boots and midget top.

"Before coming I didn't really know how to dress," she said.

"Even though I had long hair I looked like a tomboy. I feel like Cinderella. I always introduce her (Mrs Peters) as my fairy godmother."

The hardest thing for Juliana to get used to was other people wanting to do things for her.

Juliana recently had surgery on her wrist but hated her time in hospital because the nurses kept looking after her.

That was ironic considering what she had managed to do for others after the Bali bombing.

When the Peters family rang to warn Juliana to stay away from Kuta after the bombing, they discovered she was already in the midst of the drama.

Realising she had friends working in the area that night Juliana had wasted no time trying to get to them.

"I went straight to the site. That was horrible. The cars still had smoke and were still burning and there were body parts everywhere."

She discovered there was nothing she could do at the site so Juliana went to a hospital to help in any way she could.

"We didn't have a lot of space for dead bodies. So we had to put them in the parking lot. We moved a lot of women who were giving birth into one room. We left most parts of the hospital for the victims. Everything was just horrendous. We didn't even have dead body bags," she said.

Juliana helped move bodies for two days before spending most of her time answering mobile phones when friends and relatives of the victims began calling from Australia.

She said it was very hard answering people's questions after seeing how many dead bodies there were.

After those events her father noted her determination and was convinced he had made the right decision to allow his daughter to study in Australia.

"I really wanted to make myself better for myself as well as my family," she said.

"Being here and studying here is a like a dream come true."

When Mrs Peters tried to bring Juliana to Australia she was told she couldn't sponsor her because she wasn't family.

She could only be sponsored by a company or had to have enough money for the course, living expenses and air fares to and from Australia in a bank account for at least three months.

"I sent the whole amount over there," Mrs Peters said.

"She went for medicals and ended up having to fly to Jakarta two or three times. She got over here and the first gentleman from TAFE said why don't you do the advance diploma which runs another six months."

But extending her visa wasn't easy.

They were concerned it would expire on July 30 but Juliana now had a bridging visa that lasts until December 5, 2004.

There were now plans for her to apply for permanent residency.

"I am hoping someone in business will sponsor her," Mrs Peters said. "She would like to work for a large hotel chain but we will just have to see how that pans out."

Juliana's ultimate goals are to work at a hotel like the Novotel Northbeach, open a children's orphanage in Bali and bring her mother and father to Australia.