Samuels restaurant Thirroul closes and Burnt opens in its place

SHARP: Calum Howlett chose to name his new restaurant Burnt, not because of how the steaks will be cooked, but because he was inspired by a Hollywood drama about a top chef played by actor Bradley Cooper. Picture: Georgia Matts
SHARP: Calum Howlett chose to name his new restaurant Burnt, not because of how the steaks will be cooked, but because he was inspired by a Hollywood drama about a top chef played by actor Bradley Cooper. Picture: Georgia Matts

The foodscape of Thirroul is changing with plenty more to offer the hungry than just Thai take away.

Burnt offers “casual modern Australian” cuisine from the hands of 23-year-old chef Calum Howlett.

It’s the reincarnation of Samuel’s after owners Ruth Russel-Smith and husband Victor decided to take a break from fine dining and in turn gave the reigns to a young and eager employee.

“I’m doing it because it was a good opportunity, I’m young enough to learn from it and if it goes well it does, if not I can still move on and learn from that,” Mr Howlett said.

After a soft opening on Saturday the chef has taken over the running of the restaurant under a trial agreement so if business booms he will officially buy it.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Chef Callum Howlett is running his first restaurant in Thirroul with dad Adam and sister Abby helping out. Picture: Georgia Matts

FAMILY AFFAIR: Chef Callum Howlett is running his first restaurant in Thirroul with dad Adam and sister Abby helping out. Picture: Georgia Matts

Main courses range from $24 to $28 with a variety of dishes on offer such as curries, pasta, fish and a scotch fillet.

“I’m just very impressed by him to be honest,” said the chef’s father, Adam Howlett. “The owners have been very good to give him this chance to go and see how things roll; he’s very mature for his age.”

A few doors up from the eatery is Escondidos, a Mexican themed restaurant owned by Anne Doyle (Crust franchisee), which is undergoing refurbishment and to open soon in place of the long-standing Hideaway Trattoria.

In the past 12 months Thirroul has also welcomed the Italian pizzeria Cin Cin in place of Samuels Bar, Toro Sushiya run by Daniel Ahn and the seafood-meets-Japanese fusion South Sailor.