Restaurant Guide

Ester: Restaurant review

Here's the game plan: book early for a late lunch on a Saturday or Sunday. Don't drive. Call for something interesting and natural from the wine list.

Address

46-52 Meagher St
Chippendale, Sydney, NSW

Hours

Dinner Mon-Fri 6pm-10.30pm;
Sat noon-10.30pm,
Sun noon-4.30pm

Prices

E $14-$24
M $25-$45
D $9-$16;
Set menu $92

Oysters, warmed in the woodfired oven, come swimming in sake butter. Jerusalem artichokes, fried in a lacy batter, arrive with something called egg butter. A roasted prawn shipping crumbly capers drips with fermented shrimp butter. Cured bonito lands with whipped pork fat. Restraint may not be the word that comes to mind here(more like oof), but Ester's ability to take one or two main ingredients and distil them into a plate that pays close attention to texture, temperature and just a few supporting flavours is nigh-on unrivalled. (That said, add a simple salad – a garden of white cucumber, herbs and leaves that's wildly bright and acidic – to take the edge off.) Signatures, of which there are plenty, show off Mat Lindsay's approach best: the boudin noir on steamed bread is still the best sausage sanga in the country, and the charry potato bread with kefir cream, trout roe and dashi jelly – hot, cold and very addictive – beats out all imitators. The room, bones laid bare, buzzes happily, the wine list skews strongly natural and service is sharp yet laid-back. Together, it makes a place that's excelling in its own skin, a local restaurant with international credentials. Lucky Sydney.
Phone:
(02) 8068 8279
Bookings:
Bookings recommended
Features:
  • Licensed
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Wheelchair access
  • Impressive wine list
Accepted card types:
  • American Express
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
Chefs:
Mat Lindsay & Nathan Brindle
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.