No rules apply inside the cube. The huge Rubik’s-inspired tasting/dining structure erected at d’Arenberg vineyard in McLaren Vale is both gorgeous and gregarious, at every bite and swallow. Tribal artefacts combine with winery ephemera, modern art and harlequin leather thrones.
The dégustation offers an even wilder ride, and many dishes don’t appear as they seem – grapes filled with foie gras, a savoury biscuit filled with eel purée. More mystery: what’s in a black Riedel glass? Sake, perfectly cutting through whole-baked shallot matched with a finely chopped mushroom ragoût, and wicked fried chicken pressed between wafers. There’s mischief at each step. You receive a mortar and pestle with herbs and a vial of seasoned oil to make your own salad dressing. Strips of wagyu are grilled on skull-headed skewers.
What delights is the consistent deliciousness, and the floor staff keep proceedings fun. d’Arenberg wants its own wines at the forefront but there are many options in a 10-chapter drinks menu – almost two dozen internationals by the glass and a long list of sake. It’s a luxurious trip, and most definitely not a gimmick. Relax and enjoy the ride.