Griffith’s Bull & Bell has been ranked among the world’s top 101 steak restaurants, placing it on an elite list of establishments in cities such as New York, London, Sydney, Madrid and Buenos Aires.
It was the only Australian eatery in the meticulously judged list not located in either Sydney or Melbourne; and one of only a handful outside a major city of less than a million people.
Receiving the award just days before the restaurant’s second anniversary, executive chef Anthony Fullerton explained how it happened.
“They have assessors who go around, so we would’ve been visited three times anonymously,” he said. “It’s pretty much an honour to be one of the only rural places in the world on the list.
“We had a pretty solid mandate about what we wanted to do when we opened. We are starting to achieve that. We got Chef of the Year last year, we got Regional Chef of the Year. It’s good for Griffith. We will get a lot of tourists out of this.”
Bull & Bell was ranked 92nd on the top 101 list devised by Upper Cut Media House, a UK-based company widely regarded as the world’s leading authority in judging the quality of steakhouses. Its evaluation is based on criteria such as meat taste, character, marbling, cut and preparation, as well as service quality, user-friendliness and interior design of the eatery. The world’s No. 1-ranked steak restaurant was Parrilla Don Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. You can read the full list of winners on the website.
Mr Fullerton is a New Zealand-born, classically French-trained chef. He had been working in Brisbane’s leading restaurants until Comfort Inn Gemini hotel owner Jim Knox invited him to Griffith to help set up Bull & Bell within his establishment. The restaurant opened in April 2021.
“I was always looking for a restaurant in the middle of a winery district,” Mr Fullerton said.
”We have a philosophy of 65 per cent of our product coming from within 300km [of Griffith]. We promote all the local winemakers. It’s all community-orientated.
“We already have people who travel from Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra just to visit our restaurant.”
He expects the latest award will lead to continued growth.
“The hardest thing is that a lot of the traditional media in Sydney and Melbourne believes everything stops in Orange … but I think this will open things up and people will start coming and looking.”
Region sat down with Anthony Fullerton to learn a bit more about him and his menu.
What’s something on your menu you’d recommend to a first-time patron?
Something from the dry-aged menu. Dry-aged is what we specialise in – we have meats from 70 days to 150 to 200 days, depending on what cut it is. It’s dry-aged on the bone, which adds to the flavour. It’s a labour of love, we have to plan and program it. It’s quite an art.
You offer the special Argentinian sauce chimichurri, which is rare in Australia. How do you make that?
I can’t give away my secrets. I can tell you we make it twice a week fresh, you have to make it every four days.
Who are your culinary influences?
Keith Floyd was someone I looked up to – he used to be on TV, and he inspired me to cook. [He hosted a 1980s TV show called Floyd on Food.]
What do you cook for yourself when at home?
On the weekends, I’ve got a woodfire ceramic barbecue that I cook meats on. Or I have something simple like a pasta.
What’s something embarrassing you have in your pantry?
When do you use a microwave?
If I were hosting a dinner party, what’s one tip you would give me?
Patience and time. If you’re cooking meat, make sure you give it time to rest. If you don’t give it time to rest, all the juices and the flavours when you cut into it will dissipate. Time is your saviour and your winning technique.
Bull & Bell Steakhouse, open seven days a week, offers more than 15 steak cuts, including four dry-aged varieties. It’s at 201-207 Banna Avenue. Bookings can be made on its website.