Incredible service, food that looks too good to eat (even though we devoured it) and wines you’ll fall in love with.
You’ve found Maxwell Wines and their Ellen Street Restaurant.
A few months ago a few girlfriends and I went to Maxwell Wines as a part of a Trailhopper wine tour (a new hop on, hop off wine tour company, that you can read all about here).
When we arrived, we were greeted by the very friendly staff at the winery, and winemaker himself Mark Maxwell. He talked us through their wines, and we were lucky enough to explore the property and barrel hall with him, including a sneaky peak of their Lime Cave. Their cave grows a variety of mushrooms, which they cook and serve out of the kitchen in their Ellen Street Restaurant. We were all in awe and very amazed- I tried to take photos but it just didn’t do it justice.
Once we had finished our tour we nestled into the restaurant- the weather may have been a little chilly but we were made cosy in no time. The whole area had such a welcoming feel, with large glass windows overlooking the gardens and vineyards, as well as art work hanging from the walls and plenty of timbers and natural tones. The open fire in the cellar door was also roaring, keeping the cockles very toasty.
Now to the food. When we were given the menu we were a little taken back- my gosh there’s a lot of options! We each picked a entrée, main and dessert off of the winter menu (it was a hard decision, believe me!).
One thing I love about the Ellen Street restaurant is that they source their produce locally, and use seasonal produce- so you’ll find the menu is ever changing. You can tell that the chefs are really passionate about the food they plate- it shows in everything that walks out of the kitchen.
We kicked things off with Bread and butter (made in house), and a Seafood Soup served in a jar- it was so smoky and flavoursome, and went down a treat.
For entrees we all decided to order something different- because sharing is caring and I love having a sneaky taste of everything.
I opted for the Venison Carpaccio, tarragon and roasted macadamias. The others ordered the Lime Cave Mushrooms, Sous Vide Egg and Consomme, the Ocean Trout Tartare, cured egg yolk and squid ink and the SA King Prawn, coffin bay oyster, buttermilk and dill.
The Carpaccio was so delicious and melted in my mouth- the flavour combo was so tasty! The girls loved their entrees- the South Australian prawns were massive and the Lime Cave mushroom dish was an absolute standout.
For mains I went straight to the Potato Gnocchi, with hazelnut and crispy sage, while the girls ordered the Dry aged beef, garlic and lime cave Mushrooms.
The gnocchi was so light and fluffy- it was like eating little clouds and the crispy sage really made the dish. Their were no complaints from the girls regarding the beef- it was cooked perfectly pink and was served ample mushrooms. We were all quiet when we were eating mains- always sign of a good meal!
Now dessert. I have to brace you for this because it was by far one of the tastiest ones I have had in a long while. I ate the Olive oil cake, with mandarin sorbet and chocolate, while the ladies had the Whipped brie, truffle, Maxwell honey and the Brown butter icecream, jelly apple and salty caramel.
My cake was dense and packed full of flavor. The mandarin sorbet was zesty and tasted just like a mandarin picked fresh off of the tree. The chocolate was another fabulous flavour combo and broke the medley of the mandys.
The girls raved on about the whipped brie- what an amazing texture- and the truffle and honey made at the winery- so good! I was also slightly jealous of the girls who ordered the Brown butter icecream- it was silky and smooth, and the salty caramel- I could seriously eat it by the spoonful.
We washed all of this down with a glass of bubbly at the beginning, and finished with a bottle of the 2014 Ellen Street Shiraz– a very easy to drink red that went down a treat.
If you’re looking for a cellar door with a cracking wood fire and a long wine list, or a restaurant offering a seriously special food experience, then pop Maxwell Wines and Ellen Street Restaurant on your list. We already can’t wait to come back!
You can find Maxwell Wines Ellen Street Restaurant at the corner of Olivers and Chalk Hill Roads, McLaren Vale.
**The girls and I were treated to this lunch by the team at Maxwell Wines/Trailhopper. Although gifted, this lunch, and all opinions of the experience remain our own, and we will be back here in a heartbeat**