Chef Simon West: it's great to be back

Port Phillip Estate

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Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Port Phillip Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria


Chef Simon West has returned home to the Mornington Peninsula to take up the position of head chef at the new Port Phillip Estate dining room, a spacious light-filled restaurant with outdoor deck and adjacent cellar door. 

Part of the architectural landmark building that is the new home to Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate wines, the restaurant takes in panoramic views across the vines to Westernport Bay and Bass Strait.

Simon has spent much of his cooking life at boutique wineries, starting his career on the Mornington Peninsula at Paringa Estate and later at Montalto, where he eventually became sous chef. Simon was lured to Tasmania in 2004 to Meadowbank Estate in Cambridge, near Hobart, where he attracted much acclaim from food critics and the dining public while head chef there.

After five years, the calling back to the Mornington Peninsula was irresistible, and when Giorgio Gjergja asked Simon to return home as head chef for the exciting new project at Red Hill, Simon was ready.

Commenting on the move back to Victoria to open Port Phillip Estate, Simon shared, “It’s great to be back home. Who wouldn’t be excited with an opportunity like this? Setting up a new restaurant in a state of the art building in a region abundant in high quality produce is amazing.”

Simon’s new menus for Port Phillip Estate have a contemporary edge, a modern take on the classics celebrating cool climate seasonal produce at its best – showcasing tastes and textures without losing the integrity of the key ingredients.

He loves the idea of “small plates” – beautifully balanced entrée-sized plates and shared dishes that give diners the opportunity to graze over a range of menu choices and explore wines to complement from Kooyong, Port Phillip Estate, or others on the carefully considered list of old and new world vintages.“The small plate concept” matched with a variety of beautiful wines offers the region and diners a point of difference and the chance to experience a range of flavours without being locked in to just one choice”, Simon commented.

Some of the entrée sized dishes featuring on his current menu include marinated kingfish, fried capers, preserved lemon, fennel, lemon oil – braised lamb shoulder, crumbed cutlet, ratatouille, salsa verde – basil risotto, roasted flinders tomato, goats milk fetta – and carpaccio of beef, baby beetroot, pinot jelly, horseradish cream.

Port Phillip Estate dining room is open for lunch from 12:00 noon daily and for dinner from 6:00pm Tuesday to Saturday (December-February) and Thursday to Saturday (March-November).


Betsy Pie Communications



  • Melbourne Surrounds (VIC)
  • Mornington Peninsula (VIC)

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