Star Anise calls final orders 13 years on

ROB BROADFIELD FOOD EDITOR

Perth's most awarded and acclaimed restaurant, Star Anise in Shenton Park, is to close next month.

Its owners David and Kareen Coomer are not sure what the future holds but say it's time to move on.

"I've been staring out the same kitchen window for 13 years," David Coomer said.

"And it's time for a change.

"We opened in 1998 with nothing in the bank and a massive debt, but we believed in this."

Despite all the accolades, awards and the national and international press coverage that was to follow, Coomer said it wasn't an easy road.

"It took about five years of thinking 'what the hell are we doing' before we got three stars in Gourmet Traveller and everything changed," he said.

Three years ago, Coomer bought a small property in Manjimup where he has set up a truffle farm.

And in 2009 he opened the tapas restaurant Pata Negra in Nedlands.

"We're going to focus on Pata Negra and also on the truffle farm. I can't see myself doing another finer diner style restaurant," Coomer said. The closure will be a disappointment for fans who flocked to Star Anise for signature dishes such as ma hor, an addictive shredded duck meat, and his crispy aromatic duck.

The highlights?

"Being able to survive it has been a highlight," he said.

Coomer said there had been significant changes in WA dining in the past 13 years.

The public had become more discerning and, therefore, more demanding. But they were more understanding of fine food.

"On the downside bloggers have become a blight," he said.

Star Anise closes on April 16.