A world-class music bar. A cocktail rooftop with a cracking city view. A banging pad kaprao. There’s a lot going on inside Lonsdale Street’s drinking and dining megalith Her – and that’s just the top three floors.

Hook a left on the ground floor, though, and you’ll find Her Bar – a racy, low-lit diner cooking things mostly reminiscent of France, until now.

Enter Turkish-born Nada Thomas, Her Bar’s new chef and alumna of Cecconi’s, The Press Club, and most recently, Her’s own BKK. She has produced a menu for Her Bar that paints a fuller picture of Europe, taking cues from Italian, Spanish and French cooking, while also referencing her Turkish heritage. Here’s what you can expect from Her Bar in the Thomas era.

Hi, I’m Nada Thomas. You might remember me from such establishments as Cecconi’s on Flinders Lane, The Press Club, Afloat (the Turkish Riviera season) and Her’s Thai canteen BKK.

I’ve been cooking professionally since I moved to Melbourne almost 19 years ago. I grew up in Izmir in Turkey on a diet of Turkish cooking shows (pastry chef Emel Basdogan was my favourite) but it wasn’t until I moved to Australia that I really became serious about being a chef. Since then, I’ve spent most of my time focusing on all things Italian – particularly desserts.

The brief for my new gig is to design a versatile European menu for easy dining and snacking that complements the wine and cocktail lists. Moving away from an exclusively French offering, I’m drawing inspiration from across Europe, leaning into the simplicity of Italian, Spanish and French cooking, with a hint of my Turkish heritage.

And I’m passionate about simplicity and seasonality. My goal is for each and every dish on the new menu to be approachable and uncomplicated, with produce the star of the show.

We’re so lucky to have access to such incredible produce in Melbourne – and Australia generally – and I want my food to champion that. I’m currently working with local market farmers and suppliers such as Natoora, Somerset Farms, Clamms Seafood, Spurrell Foraging, Savour and Grace, and That’s Amore, to build a menu that is centred around ingredients that are best at any given time.

Which means I’ll be cooking things like snacks, small plates, and a handful of larger dishes, that are ingredient-focused with minimal intervention.

Some of my favourite dishes on the menu at the moment are the grilled wagyu tongue with guindilla peppers and sauce gribiche; the scallops on the half-shell with romesco sauce and kipflers; crumbed swordfish with capers, shallot vinaigrette and a watercress and sorrel salad; and the paccheri pasta with stracciatella, summer squash, broad beans and pistachio.

I’d like you to come in and see us so you can experience honest and tasty food, with a cracking glass of wine (or two), and maybe a cocktail to start or finish (or both).

And if there’s one thing I don’t want you to leave without trying, it’s probably the marsala apples with crumble, salted caramel and our milk gelato. It’s essentially an apple pie without the crust. This is a dish that I’ve carried with me for years and will never get sick of – ever.

Her Bar, Ground floor, 270 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, open 11.30am-late daily, (03) 9997 0437, her.melbourne/bar@her_melbourne. Follow Nada’s adventures on Instagram at @nadagafayri80