We have had Ester on our ‘to visit’ list for a while now. The birthday of our foodie friend @where_do_i_eat_pete gave us good reason to make a booking and head there to celebrate.
In the back streets of Chippendale, this restaurant has made a name for itself, serving up high quality food with a chilled vibe. It’s brilliant menu of wood fires cooking led to it being named Best New Restaurant in the 2015 SMH Good Food Awards. We can certainly see why.
Ester is contemporary 45 seat restaurant with vibrant, buzzing, casual atmosphere and a playlist with cool music. There is bar seating and a number of tables of various sizes to accomodate both groups and individuals. Ester is good for a special occasion, sophisticated dinner or like us, the group catch up.
Service is impeccabble, staff are easy going and the open kitchen provides added theatrics and, if seated near the kitchen you will find yourself continually looking over to see what was hitting the pass from the wood fired oven.
The food is modern Australian prepared amazingly using simple ingredients, the menu is seasonal with some changes, whilst a number of classics remain a staple.
The bread made fresh on site in the woodfired oven, what better way to start the meal; Ester buckwheat sourdough with cultured butter. This is a must and you will not be able to resist once you sight it leaving the kitchen.
Aussies love a sausage sanga whether it be a democracy sausage or a Bunnings sausage sizzle. We had to try the fancy Ester version of a sausage sanga, this one being the ‘blood sausage sanga’ soft white bread and an extremely tasty and juicy black morcilla sausage.
We also enjoyed the refreshing roasted rock oyster flavoured with pepperberry and sake, and as a large bowl of oyster mushroom with dashi and hazelnut flavours.
We heard endless good things about the king prawns so these were first pick when ordering. They have the tails in the half-shell and they’re served oozing with fermented shrimp butter, plus fried capers and a good squeeze of lemon. This dish will have you salivating and wishing for a larger or second serving.
The same can be said for the hasselback dutch cream potatoes, or potatoes slivered party into thin slices from the top, still remaining joined so the sauce can ooze into the potatoes. These were deliciously oily and creamy with an intriguing smokey flavour.
The stellar performance on the night goes to the incredible potato bread. Any review you read gives this dish a thumbs up, and for good reason. It is a staple on the menu and the bread is light and fluffy with a lovely charred outer crisp and sprinkling of sea salt. Served with a keffir cream and trout roe, which you can dip your bread in for an extra flavour bang. This is probably our favorite thing on the menu.
For the mains we shared two proteins; the lamb neck and chicken. The lamb was melt in your mouth meat, beautifully flavoured and served with harissa, burnt honey with malted pita. A great dish that you would definitely share.
The half roasted chicken might not look fancy, it’s chopped up pieces of chicken soaked in a pancetta gravy, but the meat is moist, flavoursome and nicely charred.
We had a side of lovely woodfired carrots with black x.o and buttermilk.
We are glad to have shared ala carte so we could try multiple dishes and still have room for dessert. However, they also do a $92 set menu if that’s what you’d prefer.
We had heard amazing things about their dessert and these rumours were all right. The left over sourdough ice cream was incredible, we’ve not had anything like it before and we could have polished off the entire lot.
The three milks, with olive oil and rosemary – has interesting textures and the dulce de leche in the bottom made for a nice surprise.
The burnt pav was nicely scorched on the outside, light and fluffy in the interior with meyer lemon and white chocolate.
Drinks wise, there’s a good wine list, a few craft beers, cocktails and a refreshing yuzu soda.
We absolutely loved Ester and certainly see why this is on everyone’s restaurant hit list. We will say this is our #1 restaurant this year so far.
address: 46-52 Meagher St, Chippendale
Phone: (02) 8068 8279
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm til late
Lunch: Saturday and Sunday – 12 noon onwards