Extractor fans defaulted to ‘jet fighter takeoff’, lighting dimmers stuck on ‘operating theatre’ and a long power blackout mid first service, Yarri Restaurant and Bar in Dunsborough has roared into life giving new meaning to the term “trial opening.”
Ever the optimist, co-owner and restaurant manager Sal Davis beams and shrugs, “At least we know the alarm works”.
Just two weeks on, it’s a different place. The team behind Snake + Herring Wines - Redmond Sweeny, Sal and Tony Davis, and chef Aaron Carr, are delighted to announce Yarri Restaurant and Bar is officially open.
Chef Carr said no brand new restaurant from the foundations up could be right on the first service.
“But we’re getting there pretty fast,” he said.
“On a scale of one to ten, I’d say the pressure on us was about eleven.”
After 21 years at Vasse Felix, Carr said he had moved on and was paring things back.
“I want to share the kind of food I love to cook and eat,” he said.
“We are not a fine-dining restaurant - we use WA produce and cook contemporary, earthy food in our wood-fired oven. We just want to give people a great time in this beautiful place.”
Carr said opening Yarri was one of the most daunting and exhilarating experiences of his life which had been all worthwhile.
“As with all worthwhile ventures you put your heart and soul into, there were moments of terror followed by enormous satisfaction,” he said.
“Working the pass in my own restaurant is a lifetime’s dream realised. Seeing customers happy, eating together, laughing over a glass of something delicious, it’s indescribably good.”
“It’s a bit like having a child,” agreed Davis, “you forget the pain once you see it come to life.”