Stem is a sprawling wine bar and restaurant. It’s distinct from other offerings on the western end of Hindley Street. The 180-seat venue blurs the line between restaurant and bar, comprising a huge main room, spacious wine cellar, open kitchen and private dining area (featuring a mural by local artist Nicole Black).
The food leans Mediterranean, with a focus on woodfired pizzas, share plates and some larger dishes: think oven-baked “lasagne-style” gnocchi; broccoli hummus with charred broccoli and chilli jam; roast pumpkin with burnt leek, pepitas and pistachios; and a honey-and-nut tart served with olive-oil gelato.
There are 10 independent beers on the taps at the three-tonne, ridged concrete bar. There are also five seasonal cocktails, around 30 wines by the glass, and two Coravin pours.
The once cavernous room has been given a sense of intimacy by the design team at Sans-Arc Studio, with planter boxes that double as partitions separating distinct dining spaces. There’s a kind of “ruin-aesthetic” here that shows up in the exposed-brick walls, textural concrete and overgrown greenery. American oak and terrazzo tables complement pale-green banquettes and dark timber wall panelling. Outdoor seating along Register Street features planter boxes filled with lilly pillies.