Auterra is a fun and funky wine bar, a spinoff of the award-winning fine dining restaurant Amaru. It offers some of the best wines in Australia and from around the world by the glass and a selection of beautiful little snacks to be eaten by hand. No knives, no forks. Just fourteen little dishes of sensational deliciousness. We spoke to chef and owner Clinton McIver.
Tell us the Auterra back story.
You’ll find us on High Street in the leafy old suburb of Armadale. We are a wine bar amongst the art galleries and antique poster shops and opposite our fine dining restaurant Amaru. I am the chef and owner of Amaru and work with the head chef of Auterra, Steve Harry. This building used to house a great little wine bar, classic and popular but during COVID, it sadly did not survive. The ‘for lease’ sign went up, and I started thinking about a wine bar to complement Amaru across the road. The set menu experience at Amaru begins with three or four incredibly delicious snacks. Since we opened six years ago, customers have told us they could eat an entire meal made of snacks. So we took on the lease, and I sat down with Steve and our sommelier team to work out a finger food menu that would marry perfectly with wine. That was how Auterra was born.
Describe Auterra for us.
There are bare walnut tables at burgundy banquettes and tan/gold leather chairs at the copper-topped bar. The floors are bare hardwood, and the colours lighten from the deep hues of red wine to the golds and straw colours of white wine. There is a half curtain on the front window, like classic French bistros, for a little privacy. When customers arrive, the tables are set with napery and glasses but no cutlery. We only use cutlery for one or two seafood dishes. The rest is high-end finger food. The idea is that this is a wine bar for a glass or two of beautiful wine and a few snacks, then move on. Perhaps home, perhaps to Amaru across the road. People can also meet up with friends and stay for a few hours.
What are we going to eat when we come to Auterra?
There are 14 little dishes. You can order as many or as few as you like. We have an option called ‘F#*k it, we’re all in!’ This is more or less a portion, or a shared portion, of every dish between two. There is always some oyster, raw veg crudites, some cured fish on a cracker, a takoyaki-like doughnut, and a little hot dog.
Continue reading our chat with Clinton McIver in