Whisk your mum (or grandma, or mother figure, or favourite auntie) away to a divine dinner, a long lunch or a refined high tea this Mother’s Day. We’re leaving gift selection in your capable hands (don’t mess this up) but we’ve done the hard work and selected the best spots in Australia for Mother’s Day celebrations.
Inventive vegies are the order of the day at 12-Micron with several four-course Mother’s Day options available including vegan and vegetarian menus. Think yams with olive, feta, basil and aniseed myrtle and celeriac with truffle and wattle seed. It’s not just the garden bounty that shines though - there’s beautiful roasted lamb with purple carrots, quinoa, curds and whey and bass grouper with sorrel and samphire. And everyone can agree on Darren Purchese’s handcrafted desserts from the special dessert bar.
Level 2, Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, The Streets of Barangaroo; (02) 8322 2075
Price: $95 with glass of champagne
They’re calling it mum-cha this weekend at a new Darlinghurst hotspot that takes northern Chinese street food and plonks it into an Australian context. The lunchtime yum cha menu at Madame Shanghai yields such delicacies as grilled chicken thigh meatballs with pineapple sambal, and crumbed chicken katsu gua bao with siracha mayo. And don’t fill up before dessert: Mumma’s Pride is a rich hazelnut parfait with raspberry and hibiscus sorbet, shiny with rose glaze and sprinkled with rose petals. All mums will receive a glass of sparkling on arrival – as they should.
18 College Street, Darlinghurst; (02) 8318 8618
Price: Not set
Bistro Moncur Mosman
If your mum’s never stopped going on about that little bistro she once discovered in the backstreets of Paris, help her relive it at Bistro Moncur Mosman. For Mother’s Day, there’s a three-course lunch – Mum can choose from French delicacies such as lobster bisque with crab ravioli, quail and pistachio terrine and squab en croute with fondant potatoes. For dessert, it’s a tangy passionfruit tart with passionfruit sorbet and basil gel. All mums get to take home a special Bougies de Luxe candle.
76A Middle Head Road, Mosman; (02) 8287 2968
Price: $150; children $50
Time: From 12pm
Melbourne's Cumulus Up, the wine bar and eatery above Cumulus Inc. is opening up especially for your mum this Mother’s Day lunchtime. The menu is a seasonal, produce-driven marvel that begins with Moonlight Flat oysters and raw kingfish with lemon verbena before moving on to duck waffle with foie gras and prune and Wagyu pastrami with horseradish. The main is grass-fed beef with a green sauce – and if all that doesn’t win Mum over, a dessert of chocolate ice-cream, cumquat jam and salted caramel should do it. But who are you kidding? You had her at oysters.
45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne; (03) 9650 1445
Available: From 8am until late
For wine-loving mums who can’t go past a perfect Sunday roast (particularly one she didn’t have to cook herself), Fitzroy North’s cosy Neighbourhood Wine fits the bill. Hand her the wine menu and order up the three-course Sunday roast menu all round. On Mother’s Day, the meal begins with cured kingfish, grapefruit, Persian cress and pomegranate. The roast of the day is sirloin of beef with roast chat potatoes, cauliflower and proper Yorkshire puddings with jus (a fancy way of saying really delicious gravy). For dessert, it’s a soul-warming pear cake with custard followed by a port next to the open fireplace.
1 Reid Street, Fitzroy North; (03) 9486 8306
Available: From 12pm until sold out
Melba at The Langham
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that nothing says “I love you” like lobster. In recognition of this fact, the Langham’s Melba is preparing a Mother’s Day seafood spread: blue swimmer crab, Pacific oysters, Tasmanian Spring Bay mussels, grilled Moreton Bay bugs and, of course, the aforementioned lobster. There’s also a main-course buffet that includes roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, roasted pork belly and spinach ravioli with truffle oil. Tell Mum to leave room for the dessert selection though – she can choose from a table piled high with chocolate pear tart, vanilla bean panna cotta, sticky toffee pudding and champagne mousse. When it’s time to leave, mums will receive a Wedgewood High Tea gift certificate.
1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank; 1800 641 107
Price: $199 including a glass of sparkling wine; children $99
Blackbird Bar & Grill
If mimosas and baked delicacies by the riverside sound like your mum’s cup of tea then make Blackbird’s Mother’s Day High Tea the plan on Sunday. Arrive at Blackbird’s beautiful dining room with views of the Story Bridge to be greeted with mimosas or tea before embarking on a journey that takes in classics such as quiche, scones and lemon meringue pie.
123 Eagle Street, Brisbane; (07) 3229 1200
Price: $59; children $25
Available: Morning and afternoon sittings
Clovely Estate Cellar Door
Brisbane’s only city cellar door is hosting a “Mothers Inspire Us” long lunch accompanied by Queensland drops from South Burnett. The Clovely Estate Cellar Door menu, designed to share, includes braised pork with kimchi, oysters with native lime and tobiko, roasted duck leg with plum, date, rhubarb and shiso and grilled Moreton Bay bugs. To finish, there’s bitter chocolate ganache with cherry and crème patissiere and fruit with coconut, champagne and flowers.
210 Musgrave Road, Brisbane; (07) 3876 3100
Price: $69.50 including a glass of Clovely Estate Blanc de Blanc 2009 (other drinks available to purchase)
Available: 12:30pm for a 1pm start
Culshaw’s Restaurant at the Majestic Roof Garden Hotel
Culshaw’s head chef Matthew Inkley’s remit is to create a modern Australian menu from seasonal South Australian produce and native Australian ingredients. He’s sticking to it on Mother’s Day, with a three-course menu including damper with native garlic butter, free-range chicken with pancetta and pearl barley and a sticky date and bunya nut pudding served with butterscotch sauce and double cream.
55 Frome Street, Adelaide; (08) 8100 4494
Price: $55 including a glass of sparkling wine; children $15
Available: From 12pm
Bask with Mum in the sunshine and water views at the floating pavilion of River Café. The three-course Italian Mother’s Day luncheon begins with share dishes of prawn tail on fregola salad and porchetta with cider apple chutney and crackling before moving on to mains: Mum’s choice of fish with Tuscan bread salad, black angus beef with kipfler potatoes and asparagus, chicken breast with herb mascarpone and red rice and almond pilaf or a tortellini filled with roasted pumpkin and goats cheese with brown sage butter. They won’t make you choose between the desserts though: mum gets dibs on double chocolate fudge cake, vanilla and chai panna cotta with Persian fairy floss and biscotti and passionfruit semifreddo.
War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide; (08) 8211 8666
Price: $78.50; children $45
Capitol Bar & Grill at QT Canberra
Solidify your position as golden child (or make some headway, at least) and take your mother to QT Capitol Bar & Grill's “Dear Mum, Thank You” lunch. The hotel is famed for its high-drama aesthetic but lunch will be a relaxed, languid affair. The three-course menu focuses on Italian traditions with seasonal Australian produce. Mums will be greeted with a glass of bubbles and crispy beer-battered oysters with fennel and fluffy zabaglione before sitting down to entrees such as caserecci pasta with walnut pesto and tiger prawns and pan-fried crab cakes with avocado and lime mousse. Incur the wrath of less thoughtful siblings over mains including Cape Grim sirloin pepper steak and fennel and pepper-crusted sustainable Sicilian tuna steaks with cauliflower puree; then take it home with dessert: a perfectly pink pavlova with berries, lemon curd, Chantilly cream and strawberry-rose jelly.
1 London Circuit, Canberra; (02) 6247 1488
Available: From 12pm
Overlooking the leafy streets of Barton, High Tea on the Terrace at the Burbury rooftop is an elegant and refined affair of cucumber finger sandwiches and chocolate eclairs. Opt for the Champagne High Tea with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck to really make it a celebration.
1 Burbury Close, Barton; (02) 6173 2700
Price: $50 with TWG teas and coffee; $60 with champagne
Wildflower at Como The Treasury
If you’re a Perth local you probably haven’t had the pleasure of a stay at Como The Treasury but there’s no excuse to neglect its excellent Wildflower restaurant. Make Mother’s Day the day – there’s a three-course menu designed by executive chef Jed Gerrard involving wood-grilled Arkady lamb and emu smoked over jarrah embers. The views from the light-filled dining room are some of the best in town, taking in the city skyline and the Swan River.
1 Cathedral Avenue, Perth; (08) 6168 7855
Price: $190 with matched wines; $125 three courses only
Available: From 12pm
Read more: A Stay at Perth's Como the Treasury
The formerly naked chef himself has recently bought back his namesake Italian eateries in Australia, though the popularity of Jamie’s Italian never waned thanks to a philosophy of simple, rustic Italian-style dishes and locally sourced produce. Take Mum for the Mother’s Day two-course lunch or dinner for Italian delicacies such as truffle tagliatelle, pea and spinach risotto and Venetian baked fish with eggplant, olives, capers and pine nuts. Go all out and order the dessert plank: Mum will receive a platter of the restaurant’s best desserts that could include a baked vanilla cheesecake with strawberry compote and Wobbly Panna Cotta.
140 William Street, Perth; (08) 9363 8600
Price: $35.50 two-course menu with a glass of fizz for Mum; $5 extra for dessert
Available: From 11.30am
Hadley’s Orient Hotel
Convict-built Hadley’s Orient Hotel dates back to 1834, so it’s only fitting that this Mother’s Day the hotel’s dining room plays host to a proper Victorian Afternoon Tea. Tell Mum to don her gloves and bonnet (a corset could be a real hindrance to cake intake) and embark on an afternoon of freshly baked scones, delicate sandwiches and fine teas. A glass of Jansz rosé sparkling wine will be offered on arrival and mums will receive a special gift.
34 Murray Street, Hobart; (03) 6237 2999
Price: $60; children $45
Available: Two sittings 10:30am-12:30pm; 2:30pm-4:30pm
Historic Burnett House hosts a salubrious afternoon tea each Sunday. Make sure to take Mum for a tour of the property, built in 1938. It’s named for its architect, Beni Burnett, and is the only surviving two-storey example of his designs. After a wander, sit down to an old-fashioned afternoon tea with homemade scones, jam and cream.
4 Burnett Place, Larrakeyah; (08) 8981 0165