Est's crack troupe of waiters is ferrying an extra-special line-up of dishes this month. An eight-course tasting menu, Peter's Best at Est, marks executive chef Peter Doyle's 10 years at the fine-diner. But with a repertoire that spans four decades, why stop at one? So Doyle has put together a greatest-hits compilation that draws from his back catalogue as well as the present, and shows good taste never goes out of fashion.
And what might his teenage self say about where he is today? "My 16-year-old self didn't have the slightest idea that I might be a chef," he says, "but he definitely would have thought it was a great idea to start work late enough to allow time for a surf whenever the waves were good. So, from that point of view, I'm sure he would say 'well done'." Indeed.
GT attended a dinner to introduce the celebratory menu, which will run until the end of November.
The food The menu nimbly traversed the decades, from 1988 - quail breast and bone marrow wrapped in Savoy cabbage - to the present. Classics from the Est menu included gazpacho consommé with buffalo mozzarella and green tomato, which first appeared in 2004, partnered at this particular dinner with its contemporary vintage of Dom Pérignon.
The drinks Dan Sharp, Est's head sommelier, masterminded the wine matches; stars included the Brash Higgins 2013 "SMR" Semillon-Riesling Field Blend, a vintage that produced only 600 bottles, half of which have been snapped up by Merivale group sommelier Franck Moreau. The 2011 Porter Creek Russian River Valley "Old Vine" Chardonnay, meanwhile, made a worthy partner to John Dory and grilled scallop with sauce Jacqueline.
We loved Everything, really, including the magnificent room and the choreographed service, but if we had to choose, it would be the raviolo of prawn with crab boudin, snow peas, ginger, soy and coriander - as fresh today as when it débuted in 1989.