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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lunch @ Tea Rooms of Yarck

It was a spur of a moment decision but Paalo likes to do spur of the moment things and as he does the driving, we're off to Yarck for lunch at the Tea Rooms of Yarck.

Unfortunately our estimated 2 hour drive turned out to be more like 2 and a half hour drive - mental note made - do spur of the moment things earlier in the morning!

The Tea Rooms are owned by Pietro Porcu who also runs Da Noi here in Melbourne.


The Tea Rooms are housed in what looks like a normal country house of the area. You can order a la carte or you can leave it up to the Chef and enjoy a degustation. No surprise really but we opt for the degustation complete with wine matches.

We begin with glasses of Bellussi Prosecco

The first dish

is a simple Mixed Mushroom Pizza - this is probably the closest we've gotten to a real Italian pizza - misshaped with an extremely thin base, topped sparingly - we get misty eyed with memories of Rome over it.


Next up:


A trio of dishes

Pheasant Salad

a blurry photo of pork terrine

and pepperonata - this tastes like my mother made it and once again I'm wondering why I don't make it that much anymore.

Two more dishes join the table:

red wine marinated octopus - that is a carrot sitting atop the octopus pieces and it has actually absorbed but the flavour and texture of the octopus. The octopus is a pleasure to eat - tender, not at all rubbery.

house-cured trout with herbed curd quenelle

Onto the pasta course:

Gnocchi with Mushrooms - while the gnocchi are bigger than I'm used to they are tender and taste of potato so I'm very pleased.

Next course - seafood

Seafood Platter - Crab, mussels, baby octopus, vongole in a spicy rich tomato broth

This dish certainly had the heads of the other patrons turning - and for very good reason too.

Last savoury course - pork

Pork Ragù with caramelised fennel and Polenta

It takes time to make a ragù as good as this - the pork was full of flavour, deeply coloured, dense and rich.

By this stage we were the only ones left in the restaurant so the staff started setting up a table so they could have their meal - while we enjoyed our desserts

a lovely set of three

pastry cream filled profiteroles with chocolate sauce and strawberries

quince and chocolate cake with red wine poached pear

and a semifreddo

To end the meal, coffee and these biscotti


The drive home took a little longer as we were caught in this


there were emergency vehicles and what looked like diversions but by the time we got moving again we actually couldn't see any trace of what had caused the delay.

When comparing Da Noi to Tea Rooms, we both agreed that we enjoyed the Tea Rooms more - while the food is similar the atmosphere is more conducive to the enjoyment of the meal. It's a bit of a drive but the destination is more than worth it.

The details:

Tea Rooms of Yarck
6585 Maroonday Hwy, Yarck

Phone: 03 5773 4233

Friday: 5.30pm-11pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm - late


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