WA’s food scene shed a tear when award-winning chef Aaron Carr left Vasse Felix’s kitchen after 21 years at the helm. It then held its breath when it was announced he was to open his own venture in the heart of Dunsborough, next to a Coles carpark no less!

Turns out both moves have been a blessing. For a first outing with a shaky start, Yarri has done a sterling job in its first year to garner a solid reputation and a serious fan base. Both locals and tourists clamour to get a seat at the hottest table in town on weekend nights.

Carr has teamed up with local wines Snake and Herring but whatever the wine choices lack, the food makes up for. The restaurant completely lives up to the marketing spiel on its website, which says,

Yarri’s cooking is about subtlety, accessibility and authenticity. We elevate ethically produced, seasonal ingredients to present them simply, at their fullest potential.

Which they pretty much do. Carr has carefully constructed a menu to reflect the six (indigenous) Noongar seasons, honouring them with top-notch south west produce. Think, mushrooms with tamagoyaki, quandong and shiso. Or wood-grilled marron with XO and saltbush.

Blushing pink local venison is well rested and teamed exquisitely with smoked date, carefully shaved turnip and green olive tapenade. Croquetas are smoky flavour bombs of chorizo, red pepper and manchego, blitzed to silken consistency and fried crisp with mojo picon dipping sauce. Exceptional.

Desserts are worth the journey down south alone. Carr’s gun dessert chef, Lisa Taylor, combines unlikely flavours with precision – caramel, Jerusalem artichoke, coffee and truffle.

A true wonder. Yarri has catapulted Dunsborough back onto the foodie map.

The building, a new construction in 2017-18, has been wonderfully realised by the project’s architects. It’s sleek, warm and full of natural timbers and fabrics. There’s even a slight hint of Scandinavian minimalism. The outside “wine garden” is a great haunt in summer.