With a talented chef, and a postcard setting, Aravina is fast-becoming a Margaret River must-visit.
For an over-the-top wedding venue with a car collection and a gift shop heaving with cushions and throws, Aravina Estate pumps out a superb dining experience. For many years, its food swung between just okay and to-be-avoided. Then in 2019 came the return of chef Ben Day – a local lad with a firm grounding and no shortage of ambition.
A newly energised kitchen is not just an improvement but now makes Aravina one of the finest destinations in Margaret River. With all the high-end competition in the region, it’s not quite top of the pops, but it’s snapping at the heels of some of the region’s best. And while like many of its vineyard-based contemporaries, Aravina opens only for lunch, the pricing manages to be more modest than some of its rivals.
Where things initially took a more serious turn – charred Wagin quail – brined, cooked sous-vide at different temperatures, then seared, rested and served with smears of beetroot, for example, they’re starting to lean more casual.
With all the high-end competition in the region, Aravina is snapping at the heels of some of the region’s best.
If rare veal marinated in wattle seed and garnished with parsnip, blueberry and cocoa nibs was everything a venison fan would hope for, grass-fed beef rump cap, properly rested and served with triple-cooked chips is something to please crowds. Either way, it’s very good, classical cooking with utterly modern delivery.
The service, meanwhile, is smooth and professional enough to be barely noticeable, which, really, is the point.
The setting at Aravina is hard to beat too. Manicured gardens, rolling green vineyards – it’s picture postcard stuff. When in Margaret River, add Aravina to your must-do list.