Canberra-born Ben Willis travelled for nine years, developing his unique culinary skills along the way. The understated decor of his restaurant – with its muted tones, black translucent drapes and minimal decoration – allows his stunning dishes to shine. Aubergine is a magnificent location for an intimate dinner.
Chef Willis caresses the best out of his produce, and the presentation of his dishes is immaculate. Duck breast is cooked perfectly medium–rare, and is brilliantly accompanied by purple carrots and grilled plums. Peppery shiso is an inspired addition – the burst of freshness enlivens the palate and provides a note of clean complexity. Pork belly grilled over charcoal is tender and rich, and keeps good company with fennel in several guises: roasted, pickled, creamed and fashioned into a delicate crisp. The sweetness of the dish is amplified by cubes of nashi pear.
PSST! If you have a hard-to-buy-for friend or family member, surprise them with a gift voucher for a meal at Aubergine.