I had been fending off Aravina Estate for years due to the fact its food changed into ordinary, its service clunky, and its House & Garden magazine interiors — white on white, tassels and bows, rustic chandeliers, indoor topiary in tiny pots, and a perky present store with homewares and tweeness at every flip — turned into just an excessive amount of awful flavor for one venue.
Its wine too — which is all it offers on its wine list — is flawlessly serviceable but lacks distinction.
Grudgingly, we went to check due to the fact we had heard good things about the new chef, Ben Day, a prepare dinner we’ve got lengthy rated as one of WA’s exceptional, notwithstanding his peripatetic wanderings in current years — even turning up at a beachside cafe at one stage.
Let’s get instantly to it. Ben Day’s food is fantastic.
No, significantly. It’s out-of-the-field desirable. We have given him sixteen. Five factors for this assessment, a perfect score which might have been even better — setting him in the rarest of territories — had a fish dish now not been overcooked. More on that quickly.
Lunch is a ready fee: courses for $65, three courses for $ seventy-five. As we discovered, it is one of the best deals going.
You would willingly pay thru the nose for meals and service as achieved like this.
An entree of “charred Wagin quail” become made from clean, by no means frozen, birds delivered without delay from the prestigious Wagin Duck & Game agency.
With a product this correctly, all an excellent chef has to do is get out of the manner. And he did.
The hen became broken down into leg and breast sections, gently brined, sous vide at extraordinary temperatures after which seared, rested, and served. Job completed. Exquisite.
It changed into garnished with just-cooked toddler beetroots, a silky, earthy beetroot puree, and buckwheat, which were hydrated to set off it, then dried, crumbled, and sprinkled all about like nutty, toasty fairy dust.
Huge props to chef Day. Sunday — the day of this evaluation — is his day without work and but the food, fish faux pas aside never overlooked a beat. That says plenty about leadership, education, and tradition.
Another entree, roasted marron, turned into, once more, simple.
The crustacean was in short blanched, sufficient to split it from its shell, after which sous vide to order. My God, it was soft, tender, candy, perfectly pro.
It was served with its empty shell — not to devour, however, only for display and tell — and a creamy Ajo Blanco-style sauce made with macadamias rather than the greater traditional almonds.
The masterstroke becomes a garnish of lightly floured and deep-fried saltbush leaves: crunchy, salty, vegetal, elemental. You may want to destroy a bowl of these tiny crispy leaves with a lager or two. Fish of the day was additionally a masterstroke, served with the softest of lengthy-cooked octopus, turnip, beef jowl, and tomatillo.
In combination, it becomes a cleverly crafted raft of flavors and textures. Brilliant. Except for the fish.
What the hell occurred? Such excessive standards, and then a piece of fish so overcooked it can have been a stellar remnant from the Big Bang. It becomes entirely, thoroughly buggered.
A tenderloin of veal marinated in wattle seed and garnished with parsnip, a blueberry sauce, whole blueberries, and chocolate nibs turned into everything a venison fan might hope for.
Properly undercooked meat should be much less than medium rare and a bit more than occasional — teamed with berries and provides fruit without too much sweetness. A dessert of burnt fig-leaf ice cream with figs and a pleasant shard of meringue turned into similar, not overly candy. The rule of thumb for meringue is 60g of sugar in line with egg white. We’re guessing the chef used more like 50g. Fruity, sparkling, and stylish.