In 2014, Pablo Theodoros (The Stanley Bridge Tavern), Frank Hannon-Tan (Amalfi Ristorante), Michael Andrewartha (East End Cellars) and David LeMire MW took possession of the old East End Cellars site to open Mother Vine. Starting as a wine bar with some simple snacks, Mother Vine has grown to become one of Adelaide’s most-loved food and wine destinations.
Referencing the noble ‘Australian’ pinot noir clone MV6 (Mother Vine 6, via Mount Pleasant, via the James Busby Collection, via Clos Vougeot), Mother Vine’s name seeks to highlight that indelible link between the old word and the new, with a wine bar of more or less classical style.
A good 30 wines are offered by the glass, with a brace of more serious cuvees dispensed via Coravin. For those wishing to test their tasting skills, there’s even a blind options flight, where a series of multiple-choice questions can lead you towards the right, or wrong, conclusion. Acing the quiz will void the bill on the flight, and make you feel pretty good at the same time. The main list is made up of 500-odd bottles, taking in the new with the old, the classic with the experimental. The only mantra being that wines must be well made and delicious.
The food covers familiar wine-bar territory – olives, pâté, cured meats, cheese – as well as larger plates, such as duck pie with a radish salad, beef rib with mash and red wine jus or a pumpkin ‘steak’ with hummus for a vegan option. (For those that want to delve into the food of Chef Connie Yi Ying’s Hong Kong heritage – some of those dishes used to populate Mother Vine’s carte – she is also the chef at sister restaurant Mum Cha, just around the corner in Rundle Street.) Fridays see magnums opened for by-the-glass pours, presumably to celebrate the end of the traditional working week, and live Jazz eases out the weekend every Sunday.