Restaurant Guide

Underbar: Restaurant review

Open just two days a week, Underbar plays a great game of hard-to-get. The room is minimalist, the service warm, the encounter unforgettable.

REVIEW

Open just two days a week and with only 16 seats, Underbar (oon-de-bar) plays a great game of hard-to-get. But the magic happening in this brilliant little diner behind a prosaic, unmarked Ballarat shopfront both explains and justifies the wait. Chef-owner Derek Boath, an alumnus of New York's multi-Michelin Per Se, creates constantly changing, seasonally driven dégustation menus; 10-ish courses of adventurous, clever, original, but – best of all – completely delicious food that can have you planning a return visit before you've completed the current one. It's a menu full of highlights, perhaps a chawanmushi threaded with crab meat, a perfectly cooked sliver of lamb rump served with bread and butter pickle and romesco sauce, or a dessert that makes the most of wild blackberries, dark chocolate and frozen meringue. There's a great drinks pairing too, which might include both vintage cider and kombucha. The room is minimalist, the service warm, the encounter unforgettable.

ABOUT

Underbar
3 Doveton St North, Ballarat, Vic
underbar.com.au
Chef Derek Boath
Price guide $$$$
Bookings Essential
Wheelchair access Yes
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.