Chef Clinton Mclver has officially opened the doors to Amaru, a 33 seat tasting-menu-only restaurant in Armadale.

McIver started making waves in Melbourne’s culinary scene during his time at Shannon Bennett’s fine-diner Vue de Monde, where he held the position of sous chef. From there, McIver launched a degustation offering at Clayton Bowls Clubs – a bold, yet highly successful move.

The opening of Amaru marks McIver’s first foray into venue ownership – the name of the restaurant itself being a hybrid of the Aboriginal term for ‘beautiful place': Amaroo, and the Portuguese word ‘to love’: Amar.

The menu comprises 12 to 13 courses of contemporary Australian cuisine, based on high quality seasonal ingredients. The menu starts will a selection of snacks such as wallaby tail dumpling, saltbush butter and mud crab toast with native plum and vinegar – all of which are brought to the table simultaneously.

The snacks are followed by a mid-meal palate cleanser of nectarine and grapefruit before mains are served which may include dishes such as Greenvale pork with burnt apple, radicchio and oxidised pear.

Dessert will comprise three courses and may include the likes of chocolate, miso fudge, yuzu vinaigrette; or buffalo mozzarella ice cream, sun-dried strawberry and olive jam.

Interiors have been designed by South Melbourne agency Meme Design, who have taken inspiration from the Australian outback to create a feel of ‘rustic elegance’.

The venue features eight wooden tables paired with ‘Very Wood’ chairs designed by This Weber, grey-toned walls, and an Aboriginal art piece by Barbara Wier.

“We tailor it to suit individual needs. Each group of diners wants a different dining experience and we strive to provide that,” says Clinton.

“Our team is small but talented and we employ more staff back-of-house than out front. This means that sometimes we have chefs running the food, which adds a real honesty for our guests.”

Amaru-Painting.jpgAmaru-wallaby-tail-dumpling-saltbush-butter-and-mud-crab-toast-with-native-plum-and-vinegar.jpgWallaby tail dumpling saltbush butter and mud crab toast with native plum and vinegar

Amaru-Ricotta-raw-peas-wasabi-milk-skin-salted-peach.jpgRicotta raw peas wasabi  milk skin salted peach

Amaru-Ike-Jime-kingfish-puffed-pigs-ears-roasted-wallaby-sea-grapes.jpgIke-Jime kingfish puffed pigs ears roasted wallaby sea grapes

Buffalo-mozzarella-ice-cream-sun-dried-strawberry-olive-oil-olive-jam.jpgBuffalo mozzarella ice cream sun dried strawberry olive oil olive jam

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