One of WA's top chefs showcases the best of the region with his first solo venture.
Western Australia's south-west will be pleased to hear the Aaron Carr drought of 2017 is over, with Carr back on the pans at his own restaurant, Yarri, which opened this week in Dunsborough. After 21 years at Vasse Felix, Carr departed the premier winery in May last year to open a more casual restaurant ("like an Ester in Sydney or Embla in Melbourne") in partnership with Snake & Herring wines.
The dining room at Yarri
Yarri, the Aboriginal word for the blackbutt tree native to the south-west, will offer everything from tasting menus to charcuterie at the bar, with Carr pursuing simpler interpretations of the WA produce he's so passionate about.
"I'm a huge believer in food tourism," Carr says. "I wouldn't want to go to Tasmania and eat marron; I want to go there and eat oysters. People come to WA for a reason."
Those reasons might include Blackwood Valley sirloin with anchovy butter, Shark Bay pipis meunière with hapuku and kale and, when they're in season, banana prawns from the Kimberley. Carr will be changing the menu constantly according to what he can get from his suppliers and what's in season.
Wood-grilled prawns, burnt miso butter, saltbush
The wines will also be proudly local, with the entire Snake & Herring range joined by "friends we want on the list", according to Carr, whether that's WA producers or others across Australia. He's hoping the restaurant will be for locals as much as it is for tourists, with people visiting multiple times a week.
"It's not just for a special occasion. There's amazing food and a great wine list, of course, but we want people to come in and feel comfortable."
Yarri, Unit 7, 16 Cyrillean Wy, Dunsborough, WA, (08) 9786 5030, yarri.com.au; noon-9.30pm daily.