The meal that followed our trip to Attica was always going to be on a hiding to nothing. Fortunately, I had chosen the most excellent company of one of my longest-standing friends, Anna, for the occasion so the joyfulness levels were to be guaranteed despite my likely longing for al fresco kebabs and beach baked potatoes.
Our venue of choice was Ester in Sydney’s Chippendale neighbourhood. It’s no slouch of a place having recently retained its status as a two-hat eatery, Australia’s approximate equivalent of the Michelin star system.
We found the place packed on a lively Thursday evening. We were shown to our table which was a nice change for me as I’ve been dining exclusively at the kitchen bar in places of this type over recent weeks.
We quickly decided that we were going to let them feed us from their tasting menu selection. We started with glasses of fizz, then invited them to pair some drinks for us as we went along, which they did admirably.
We started with good rye sourdough and cultured butter before roasted oysters arrived. These were lightly cooked and served in a pepperberry and saké dressing. They were very good.
We then had lightly cured bonito with mustard and bonito flakes. This was fresh and enjoyable stuff, as was the ash covered smoked potato with a sour cream dip.
The final item of the snack section was a blood sausage sandwich. This drew some bemused looks from Anna, but I thought it was pretty good although the soft crumb of the white bread didn’t quite work for me.
We then had a seafood course of prawn topped with crisped cabbage served with koji. This had good textural elements and was beautifully fresh.
The highlight dish was the main course of hanger steak, roasted cauliflower and grilled leaves. The steak was the most flavourful piece of beef I’ve been served on the Australian leg of my journey. The cauliflower was also completely splendid.
The dessert was a burnt pavlova with zingy kiwi fruit. This was served with a crunchy crumb-topped sourdough ice cream. These were a very pleasing end to a very good meal.
So overall, we had a lot of fun dining at Ester. The main course steak in particular was a standout dish, with everything else delivered to a high standard. It’s definitely worthy of your attention next time you’re in Sydney.
Blythe scores Ester
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4.5/5 for service
giving an overall 16.5/20
Today’s questers were: Anna, Blythe
We ate: tasting selection
We drank: bubbles, paired wines, water, filter coffee
We wore: orange wine trousers, sauvignon blanc scepticism
Total bill: $301
Address: 46-52 Meagher Street, Chippendale NSW 2008