The Cube – a $14 million, five-storey, Rubik’s Cube-like building located amid the vines at d’Arenberg Winery – is now earmarked for opening in June or July this year.
The winery is already home to the fine-dining d’Arry’s Verandah, which offers an à la carte menu under head chef Peter Reschke, but Osborn envisages a different style for the Cube restaurant.
“We’re looking for more of a tasting plate menu style with a very creative, cutting-edge style of cuisine utilising local ingredients and the latest techniques.
“We want to have a bit of theatre in the cuisine, and a high service factor with a high ratio of chefs to customers … it’s really a big journey into food and wine, and food and wine matching, so you will get lots of courses of small amounts of things in an environment that’s conducive to hanging around.”
When it comes to the theatre element, he cites as an example Melbourne’s Vue de Monde, which has gained a reputation for dishes such as a palate cleanser of baby herbs frozen in liquid nitrogen then ground in a mortar and pestle by the diner.
“But obviously, until I’ve got a chef and they’re got their creative angles, this is just an idea.”
The chef Osborn has in mind will ideally already have established a reputation and worked in some “really smart” restaurants.
The new restaurant will sit on the second-to-top floor of the D’Arenberg Cube, a complicated glass-encased structure which has been designed by ADS Architects based on an idea Chester Osborn has been working on for more than 13 years. He sees winemaking as a kind of puzzle, just like the building.
Because the two top levels are turned askew from the rest of the building (imagine a partially turned Rubik’s Cube), there will be four spots available for outdoor dining, promising excellent views over the vineyards to the sea.
Osborn says the restaurant will seat around 50 people, with a relatively minimalist yet comfortable interior featuring a polished concrete floor, walls that are half glass, concealed lighting and a ceiling with floating, sound-absorbing material. It will be serviced by a kitchen on the second level, with a dumb waiter and lifts for service.
As reported previously, other features of the building will include an art installation, a “wine fog room”, a “flower and fruit room”, a video room, function rooms and wine-tasting bars.
“We have the potential to dine in many of the levels,” Osborn says.
“The level where the kitchen is can be used for cooking classes or a chef’s table or small events … then there is also the 360-degree video room, which will be able to do dining at night for a high-end experience for 18 people.”
He says the d’Arenberg Cube restaurant will initially open for lunch five days a week, with the intention of eventually extending to Friday and Saturday nights and seven-day trading.
The all-important wine list will of course highlight d’Arenberg releases – with a strong focus on its Amazing Sites wines – but will also include other high-end international wine.
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