6585 Maroondah Highway, Yarck - ph: (03) 5773 4233
Hubby prepared a surprise country getaway for us a couple of weeks back. It was lovely getting out of Melbourne in early spring and seeing some beautiful green countryside.
Yarck is a small town near Yea, halfway to Mt Buller ski resort from Melbourne. It took us just under 2hs to drive there from Melbourne on a Sunday morning.
The town is tiny and we pretty much went straight to the restaurant when we got there. Tea Rooms of Yarck is located on the main shopping strip in this pretty and bright whiteboard house.
Our table at Tea Rooms os Yarck
The atmosphere is casual and relaxed. The waiters were all pretty young and probably not as knowledgeable about the food and wine as I'd have expected in this type of restaurant.
I've read many reviews about Tea Rooms of Yarck before and everyone says their set menu is definitely worth trying and great value for money. However, we heard both tables next to us mention how much food they were getting and we didn't want to have such a big meal ourselves.
We just chose dishes from the a la carte menu:
Carpaccio di polpo - rare roasted octopus carpaccio on garlic gel with asparagus and chickpea torte ($25)
My carpaccio was interesting. I was surprised the octopus was actually fully cooked, I was expecting it a bit more rare. Still, it tasted perfect and went really well with the other elements of the dish. I was impressed by the delicately sliced asparagus spears.
Margherita pizza ($16)
Hubby chose the margherita pizza. I couldn't believe he was actually going for pizza as a starter for our meal, but I have to say it tasted great. Fine, Italian style base topped with the most amazing home-made tomato sauce.
Ravioli alla carbonara - ravioli filled with ricotta and zucchini on an onion, pancetta and egg sauce ($29)
My ravioli was tasty, but I was not a fan of the lukewarm carbonara sauce. I understand carbonara can't be served too hot or you end up with scrambled eggs, but I think the shallow plate they used was probably not a good idea to keep the whole dish an even temperature. I was put off by mixing my nice steamy raviolis with cold sauce. The pancetta was a highlight here - super crunchy and tasty.
Hubby didn't love his main either. The saffron risotto was blend and pretty definitely lacked the peculiar saffron punch. On the positive side, the meat was falling of the bone and perfectly cooked.
Saffron and pea risotto with braised veal ossobuco ($30)
We shared a slice of the polenta cake for desert that I had spotted when I first walked in. The slightly sour, moist and fluffy cake slice was the perfect end for our meal.
Polenta sour cherry tart with strawberry cream ($10)
I'm finding the Tea Rooms of Yarck hard to judge. The entrees and desert were a hit, the mains not as much. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed, but I did expect a bit more knowledge from the staff at a restaurant at this 'fine dining' level.
In sum, I think I can say I enjoyed my meal, but wouldn't be rushing back - there are many other regional restaurants I still want to try.