Stem Bar & Restaurant

Top Wine Bars Etc
  • Wine glass icon
    18 wines by the glass, 100+ in the cellar. A focus on local, SA producers, with a healthy mix of wines from the Mediterranean
  • Fork icon
    Broadly, a mix of Mediterranean and modern Australian cuisine, in a casual fine dining setting
  • Dollar icon
    Small plates range anywhere from $8 to $28, large plates range anywhere from $38 to $65
  • Folding chair icon
    90 seats inside including private dining area, 38 outside split between 2 areas. No bar seating
  • Wine list icon
    Drinks menu
  • Food menu icon
    Food menu

The lowdown

– Adding a sheen of sophistication to the wild west end of Hindley St in Adelaide, Stem makes a fist of its local connections to present an impressive diverse list of mostly South Australian wines, complemented by some outstanding local produce on the plate.

The regular’s tip

Best time to pop in to Stem for a drink is between 4-6pm. The restaurant space gets flooded with amazing natural light, or there are outdoor booths with pull down shades as ideal places to watch the sun go down on a warm day.

Taking a punt on reviving a part of western Hindley St in Adelaide with an upmarket wine bar and restaurant has paid off handsomely for a new hospitality partnership.

Chris and Lachlan Farmer, Tom Paxton (previously at the successful Bank Street Social Club), along with Paul Barber as General Manager, purchased the previous Kaos Cafe site in 2018 and set about a stylish renovation to revive the large site. They set an impressive tone that quickly brought customers, and encouraged other small venues to open in this previously run-down area and change the vibe.

There’s parochial pride in Stem’s success, having a strong focus on SA wines, with more than 100 in the cellar and 18 poured by the glass, although this is augmented by a healthy mix of wines from the Mediterranean. However, only a few of each bottle are stocked, ensuring a rapid turnover of stock in the cellar.

“We think it’s fun to keep exploring and discovering a new favourite. We are blessed in SA to have four world-class wine regions on our doorstep, so we really take advantage of that,” says Barber, “but we also have a real fondness for Italian and French wines.
“We match our wines by the glass to what is happening in our kitchen and vice-versa. Having food and wine work well with each other is important to us.”

Head chef Cain King has a strong Adelaide kitchen pedigree (Arkhe, Hentley Farm, Yiasou George) and delivers modern Australian menu with Mediterranean flair, served up in a relaxed, casual fine-dining style. His immediate signature has been a sumptuous Lobster Sando.
“While we pride ourselves on our food, we’ve always strived to be a wine bar first. We love it when guests come in just to try a few wines and have a snack or two from our small bites menu.”

With communal tables inside the restaurant, outdoor booth seating and also large outdoor tables, Stem straddles the line to appease those wanting either an elegant wine-focused dinner, or a comfy space for casual after-work drinks.

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