Cuisine: Seafood, Mediterranean
Location: Margaret River
I had asked around work for some recommended restaurants and Arc of Iris came up so I made a booking for dinner in my first night in Margaret River. It seems pretty popular and getting in here without a booking is unlikely. There were several specials of the day but I stuck to the menu in the end.
Deep Fried Camembert $19
From Cow Bay organic cheese Co. Served with a rocket, pear and pine nut salad. Fruit coulis to complement.
I love anything deep fried and I love cheese so deep frying camembert in a golden brown crispy crumb is just up my alley. I expected the camembert to be richer and creamy but it was just gooey and considerably muted. Also lacking was salt which allowed the chef to control the use of the cheese as it wouldn’t have such a dominating flavour. To do so, a nice sharp salad with a lovely vinaigrette and a sweet fruit coulis combined nicely to counteract any hint of richness. The camembert were perfectly cooked containing a lovely crispy crumb and gooey centre. Yum.
Twice Cooked Duck $39
The Duck: Wagin Free Range, a generous portion of half a duck, twice cooked, then caramelised in the oven served on Asian vegetables with peanuts, chilli and jasmine rice.
One of my work colleagues recommended me this restaurant and raves about the twice cooked duck so I had my mind made up unless something else on the menu would displace it. The chef creates several dishes with an Asian slant and this is the perfect example. A half duck is cooked to perfection such that its flesh is super tender and it exudes flavour via the sweetish Asian style sauce. It’s paired with plain steamed rice, some greens, and an Asian salad. The dish is too generous in the quantity of duck served. While there are some bones, it’s predominantly flesh. The sweetish sauce and duck do start to become monotonous over time because of the sheer quantity, but the plain steam rice mixes well to sop up the sauce and balance the sweetness of the sauce. I like quality and a decent quantity. There’s too much quantity which makes too much of a good thing, a little bad. But I really loved the duck. Fantastic!
Chocolate Fondant $13
Rich chocolate pudding with a surprise centre. Served with cream and ice cream
I was really full but I had eyed the dessert menu. After waiting for a while, I was full, but not stuffed so I went with the chocolate fondant. Like the entrée, it was out of the kitchen pretty quickly. The fondant was made using dark chocolate which was not what I was expecting. I think it was slightly overcooked because it didn’t ooze and it seemed kind of dry. Fortunately the vanilla ice cream was the saviour providing a touch of sweetness and most importantly, moistness. I felt the cream was unnecessary but it was the lovely vanilla flavour which took the dryness out of the fondant and the dark brooding flavours and made it a much better dessert.
Arc of Iris Food Review Summary
Verdict: The menu at Arc of Iris takes on a slightly Asian slant. I started with the deep fried camembert which was excellent. A golden brown crispy crumb encasing soft gooey camembert, aided by a sharp salad and the sweetness from the fruit coulis. The twice cooked duck was superb. Lovely sweet Asian sauce with a much too generous serve of super tender duck made for a very filling dish. While the Asian salad and steamed rice helped take the edge of the duck, it’s sheer quantity caused the dish to become a little monotonous. Fantastic dish though. Lastly, the dark chocolate fondant was slightly overdone with no oozing chocolate and was a little dry. However, the lovely flavour of the vanilla ice cream saved the day and provided the perfect partner. For the price, excellent value, excellent food, lovely service in a lovely restaurant. You must book ahead as it’s pretty busy.
Arc of Iris Restaurant Details
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