By Jess from Dressed in Copper
:: 192 Main Road, Willunga
Fine dining, incredible food and an all round amazing dining experience.
I’m talking about Au Pear.
Birthday celebrations were the perfect excuse to visit this gorgeous restaurant in Willunga. Au Pear is surrounded by pear trees, lush gardens and rows of vines. It offers a cosy interior, with huge windows looking out onto the gardens and rustic charm. Outside in the courtyard is just as glorious- offering big trees and outdoor furniture that you could sit in all day long.
On our visit we took one glance at the menu and had to try the 5 course ‘feed me’ option. Chef Ryan Callaghan’s menu has a strong focus on fresh, seasonal and locally sourced produce, and that was evident in the dishes that came out of the kitchen. Each one was as beautiful and delicious as the next.
To go with these amazing dishes are one top notch wine list. They have reds and whites covered, as well as bubbly, most sourced from local wineries in the Mclaren Vale Wine Region and throughout South Australia.
We kicked things off with bread, served with olive oil and house made dukkah- the perfect way to start the meal. It was followed by a tomato delight with fried basil. It the perfect combination of salty and sweet, the tomato taste was next level and the crispy basil was the perfect match. Both the other half and I said we could have had drunk a whole bowl of it.
First up was the Lamb Carpaccio with gruyere, picked strawberries and garlic. The lamb was so delicious and melted in my mouth, and the pickled strawberries and garlic were a match made in heaven.
Next up was the Basil Tortellini with Pine Soil, Preserved Lemon and Parmesan Foam. This was an absolute stand out dish for the both of us. The basil oozed out of the tortellini, which was super soft and cooked to perfection. Another dish we could have eaten by the bucket load.
Third was the Pork, pulled and pressed served with carrot and poached pear. What a flavour combination. The pear was sweet and the tasted an absolute dream with the pork. The pork may have looked small on the plate but it was packed inside that little square and it was SO tasty!
Next up was the Lemon Myrtle Kangaroo with root vegetable ceviche, macadamia, pearl barley and coriander. The kangaroo was lovely and pink and the knife cut though it oh so easily. Another star on the menu, and the pearl barley salad was also a winner.
To refresh the palate we were treated to a cucumber palate cleanser. I couldn’t believe how much it tasted just like a cucumber, except it was a little bit sweeter and was really refreshing.
The last meal of the day was one to share- a Baked Almond and Brie cheesecake, served with poached pear and muscat ice cream. It was such a delicious mix of savoury and sweet, and was super filling (we couldn’t even finish it). The spun sugar on top was absolutely gorgeous and it was so pretty I didn’t want to eat it – but we did.
We honestly loved our visit and couldn’t fault a thing. The staff were exceptional and looked after us so well, and the food was something really special.