One of Australia’s greatest independent retailers, East End Cellars gave their customers the drink in and graze option a couple of years back, and now that experience has been elevated with Josh Lansley turning out sophisticated bistro dishes made from local produce.
The nuts & bolts
- Opened 1997
- Function spaces: 50 guests
East End Cellars is one of this country’s most enduring retailers of fine wine, with Michael Andrewartha’s Vardon Street store offering Adelaide an unparalleled selection for over two decades. Today, the original site is occupied by the wine bar Mother Vine, which he also owns. The original East End Cellars flame burns bright, though, with a move to bigger premises across the road made back in 2014.
That move enabled the expansion from a more or less traditional bricks and mortar retailer into a whole new sphere, which saw the construction of the Tasting Room, thereby discouraging regular customers from leaving the shop until they absolutely have to. You can expect to find the usual wine-bar suspects here, with cured meats and cheeses imported directly from France and Spain, and an array of terrine, pâté and the like. Along with a selection of fine toasted sandwiches and platters to share.
That food offering has been ramped up even more of late, with chef Josh Lansley (Press Food and Wine) taking on the role of lifting the grazing and snacking selection to more of a restaurant offering. “Josh has redefined the food offerings at East End Cellars by drawing from the best of our local small producers to deliver balanced, sophisticated, quality food that offers exceptional value,” says manager and wine buyer Mathieu Smeysters.
All of this, naturally, is to support the wine, which can be taken by the glass from a broad-ranging selection of 30-odd to coughing up a very reasonable $15 corkage fee to access anything from the many thousands of bottles available in the cellar. The cellar ticks all the boxes you may expect for a South Australian wine retailer, but it ranges wide, too, with bottlings from pretty much everywhere where grapes are grown (and at all price points), including a range of exclusive imports, mainly from Burgundy, Champagne and Piedmont.
“Our wine list caters to people with limited budgets all the way to those that can afford our premium Coravin pours,” says Smeysters. “Whether you want a $9 glass of Pinot Noir or a $180 glass of Grange 2005, we have it all. We attempt to cover relevant examples and styles from across the world but with a heavy focus on Australia. We do not shy away from recognisable brands but also champion small producers with limited exposure. We believe in the educational aspect that we have as a high-end retailer and wine bar.”