If you’re heading out from Adelaide to the famous McLaren Vale wine growing region, you’d do well to pay a visit to AuPear, a restaurant specialising in modern Australian cuisine with a distinct Mediterranean and French influence found on the Main Road south towards Willunga from McLaren Vale township itself. The stunning seasonal food on offer (most of the dishes are made from ingredients sourced locally from the Fleurieu Peninsula) is matched only by the stunning location of the restaurant, set in the Gilbert Vineyards and complete with four distinct areas in which guests are invited to dine or host their next big celebration.
AuPear marries the sunkissed spirit of Mediterranean cuisine with French gastronomic technique and a cornucopia of ingredients sourced from suppliers found on and around South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, the promontory jutting out into the ocean south of Adelaide. The base of the peninsula, where AuPear finds itself, is home to many famous vineyards, making for an enviable wine list. Indeed, AuPear’s address is that of the Gilbert Vineyards along the Main Road linking the townships of Willunga and McLaren Vale, this latter toponym being synonymous with South Australian wine. The kitchen stocks its larder with yabbies, trout, venison, cheeses, veal, lamb, berries, veggies, salad greens, and goat curd all from the stretch of road leading south towards Victor Harbour, including native Australian herbs and spices like river mint and mountain pepper.
With such an emphasis on local produce, AuPear’s menus are highly seasonal. The spring menu, for instance, features highlights like spring green scallops crevice with snow peas and lime smetana, a beautiful venison charcuterie platter, quail porcini ravioli and a goat curd timbal. If you’re dining with a group, book one of the separate dining spaces – the Almond Room, the Garden Room, or the al fresco garden terrace itself with lovely views out over the vineyard – and order the vineyard platter to share, with prawn and scallops, goat curd, venison bresaola and terrine alongside Nuage blanc, dukkah, extra virgin olive oil, pickles, olives, and pear cider bread. The food philosophy at AuPear extends to heartier dishes like the cafe de Paris-style goat and grilled lamb fillet with minted spring peas and pommes Parisienne, shaved pickles and cheese brioche wafer. Perfect for casual dining before you head out into the countryside surrounding McLaren Vale and Willunga south of Adelaide city, and ideal for small wedding receptions, celebrations and private dining events, AuPear deserves attention as one of South Australia’s hidden dining gems.
We had a very enjoyable experience dining at Au Pear. The staff were excellent, courteous and attentive. The food was cooked to perfection and had wonderful complimenting tastes. One member of our party said the Kangaroo was the best she had ever tasted. Well done Au Pear. We will be back.
Another fabulous lunch at Au Pear ... highly recommend. The food, the service and ambience are always a delight. The highlight today was the mandarin cake :-)
Beautiful location, great service, amazing food. Will definitely return. Ryan the chef came to our table for a chat. He was lovely and very passionate about his craft. He uses lovely fresh local produce.
Amazing food, wine and impeccable service. This restaurant has been recommended to me a number of times and certainly didn't disappoint. Beautiful scenery and grounds surrounding. Will definitely return!
We could not fault our experience at Au Pear. The staff were welcoming, friendly and attentive. The menu was well varied for all tastes in our group. The star of the show was the food which was well presented with amazing tastes. Everyone in our group commented on how delicious their meals were. My pistacchio halva with salted caramel ice cream and sour cherries dessert was to die for. We had spoken to other patrons at another table who were also gushing about their dishes.
An amazing setting, excellent service with a charming and delightful waitress. The menu was very limited, and a tad overpriced. A vineyard platter - in the entree section - contained grilled chorizo - 4 small slices, 4 tasty olives, 2 cherry tomatoes, 4 small pieces of fetta, dukkah with olive oil and red wine in the oil for dipping delicious warm bread, herbed labne (homemade yoghurt, 1 tblspn) and grilled vegetables. The plate was tasty and delicious, but quite small. I certainly could not complain about the quality and freshness of it, but the price was $36 - which was VERY overpriced for what you received. (compared with, say, The Salopian Inn - just up the road). Apart from the prices, and limited mains menu, everything else was superb.
Excellent, personable service and perfect food dishes professionally presented; a lovely lunch at Au Pear. We highly recommend Au Pear for any of your dining occasions.
As always Au Pear gives wonderful service and the food is prepared and presented with love, it is obvious that all staff members are well led by Muff and Sam and the setting is lovely, well worth a visit!
We loved this place the first time we went here - there was definitely something special about the food and the atmosphere. A year later, we took the opportunity of having another lunch on our way South, and it was even better than the first time. So many delicious options on the menu, lots of gluten-free options. The food really is exceptional - this is one of my favourite SA restaurants. Highly recommended.
Great meal and wonderful lovely welcoming service. I would recommend Au Pear to everyone. It was a very good meal, atmosphere and enjoyable. Go and enjoy the Chef's "just feed me" degustation!