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.
This is one of my favourite SA restaurants. Food and service is outstanding. I enjoy the attention to detail and range of flavours. Especially fresh local produce.
Love the atmosphere, the setting, the service, and the delightful food. We had two salads that were glorious. Fresh. Elegant combination of flavours. Beautifully presented. Can’t wait to return to Au Pear soon.
My visits to Au Pear are always an absolute pleasure and today was no exception. Menu, people, ambience - thank you Muff and Sam and compliments to Seb. Mary