Clinton McIver may have earned his chops as sous chef at Vue de Monde but he made his name serving a classically driven degustation menu in the unlikely surrounds of Clayton Bowls Club.
Fourteen months after finishing his wildly successful bowlo stint, he's rolled up his sleeves to build his dream restaurant, 34-seat Amaru in the former Taste for All Seasons cafe in Armadale.
Hat-tipping Atera in New York City as an inspiration, he says the space will be intimate, moody and inviting, with the kitchen on show. "I really want people to feel like they're being welcomed into my living room," says McIver.
He'll be offering a tasting menu only, but rather than an endless parade of small plates he promises some snacks as well as larger sharing dishes with a flurry of accompaniments.
Describing his style as "contemporary Australian", McIver says he wants the food at Amaru to be flavour-driven, with style and technique to follow.
There will be eight well-spaced tables, including a centrally placed custom-made chef's table for six and a "family table" for eight.
He expects to open Amaru at 1121 High Street on January 12, and will take bookings from this week. See amarumelbourne.com.au