Published in Warrandyte Diary
(Image via Altair)
TUCKED away in Yarra Street, new restaurant, Altair brings city sophistication to Warrandyte. With a comfortable intimate interior, friendly staff, exciting wine list and adventurous, grown-up food, it is set to become a Yarra Valley favourite.
Chef Kelvin Shaw does not make boring food. “I love to redefine classic dishes with a modern slant,” he says. “People cook more now which means they expect more from restaurant food. We like to give them something a little different.”
He describes his style as ‘worldly’, although it would also fit ‘Modern Australian’. It is multi-influenced flavours teamed with great Australian produce and handled with care. Every dish on the menu comes with an optional wine accompaniment, matched to showcase the innovative flavours. Kelvin says, “Using local, seasonal produce takes advantage of the best flavours and it’s also more sustainable. Warrandyte has such great spring and summer produce.”
Try the seared scallops with almond crumble, Jerusalem artichoke and blue cheese veloute with a glass of 2011 Yeringberg Viognier – the spicy silky palate and fresh acidity of the wine providing the perfect foil for the explosion of flavours in the dish.
Or dip fragrant, five spice roasted quail into a perfectly poached egg and toasted seeds with the voluptuous, Burgundian style 2011 Erath Estate Pinot Noir.
Other stand-outs include melt-in-the mouth, slow cooked lamb belly with beetroot, black garlic, and rosemary and lavender jus – the black garlic adding an inspired twist. This dish has two suggested wines: Henschke 2010 Keyneton Estate Euphonium Shiraz Cabernet Merlot for perfectly balanced refinement or the Grant Burge 2011 Filsell Shiraz for those who like a traditional, meatier red.
For dessert, the Poire William baba with pear and saffron ice-cream served with Yering Station Cold Pressed Pinot Gris is a beautifully presented and delicately flavoured ending to a memorable meal.
Michelle Shaw is Kelvin’s partner, restaurant manager and according to Kelvin, “the boss”. Together their attention to detail is evident throughout – from the water glasses which echo the green tones of the Warrandyte aspect to the artful presentation of each dish.
Altair is not pretentious but refined and considered. Kelvin said, “When we were planning Altair, we wanted a place for the locals as well as the tourists but it needed to feel like Warrandyte.”
Altair Restaurant is open Wednesday through Friday for lunch and dinner and Saturday and Sunday from breakfast to dinner. For more information, visit www.altairrestaurant.com.au