We love visiting Sydney, and always make sure to try a new restaurant while we are up there. Last year we had a lovely long lunch at est., with two of our good friends. The lunch menu at est. is steal relative to the cost of their dinner menu, and you can choose how many courses you want to do (two, three or four) once you’re seated.
After perusing the menu, we decided to do the first three courses and skip dessert. The salad of spanner crab was the first time I had ever had crab, and I was surprised by how delicate it was. The salad on top of the crab complimented its delicate flavour perfectly, and even though I’m not usually one for flavours as mild as these, I really enjoyed the dish. Alex’s sashimi was much more assertive in flavour, and he really enjoyed the variety of flavours and textures the dish provided. For the second course, I had my first Moreton Bay Bug (this was a lunch of firsts!), with orange, fennel and green shallot. I absolutely loved this dish- it was table’s favourite of the meal. Fennel, orange and shallot are a classic combination, and they were paired with the bay bug in a mix of creamy textures that I just couldn’t get enough of- if this dish is on the menu when you go to est., it’s one that you can’t miss! The boys ordered the lamb belly and lamb consommé- this dish was incredibly rich, but balanced out nicely by the acidity of the pickled radish. The two fish dishes that we had for mains were very different and both fantastic- my snapper was lighter with abalone and a ginger-green shallot vinaigrette that I would love to reinvent at home, and Alex’s trout had more of a European skew. The boys again had lamb and as someone who has never eaten lamb, I could tell that the meat was beautifully cooked the second it hit the table…I have never seen such a lovely looking piece of meat!
The service at est. was classic fine dining, however we found it a little stiff at times. After we had all ordered, I told the waiter that I don’t eat red meat and he gave me a blank stare and said “well…nothing that you ordered has red meat…” as if I was an idiot. I said great and that I was just letting him know to double check and confirm, and he left. A few minutes later, he came back and said “actually, the trout does have jamon in the dish”, so I swapped my order to the snapper with a bit of disappointment, and quickly moved on. The meal proceeded as usual, and I really enjoyed my snapper but also wished I could try Alex’s trout, as it looked delicious. We finished our mains and as he was clearing our plates, our waiter off-handedly said “oh, turns out the trout didn’t have jamon in it after all” and kind of shrugged and walked off. I was very taken aback by such indifferent and blasé service- while this kind of behaviour is always frustrating, it becomes especially so at such a pricey meal.
Service aside, we loved our experience at Est., because even an indifferent waiter couldn’t spoil the effect of the beautiful airy dining room combined with delicious food and delightful company. We would definitely recommend Est. as a classic fine dining option in the city, and again think that the lunch menu is a great way to get more bang for your buck. We would love to go back, and hopefully this time I’ll have my trout, and eat it too!
Salad of Spanner Crab, Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber, Young Herbs, Tarragon Oil
Sashimi of Yellowfin Tuna, Jamon Cream, Jerusalem Artichoke, Truffled Ponzu, Mustard
Moreton Bay Bug, Orange, Green Shallot, Fennel, Watercress Puree, Puffed Quinoa
Steamed Murray Cod, Shaved Abalone, Snow Peas, Black Fungi, Ginger-Green Shallot Vinaigrette