It has taken us a while to get around to visiting Ester, but now that we have experienced their famous wood fired oven firsthand we finally understand the hype as every item we had off their menu was pitch perfect in terms of flavour and execution.
We got to watch the kitchen in full swing from our seats at the bar and decided to start off our dinner with their Roasted Rock Oysters with a delicious horseradish emulsion which brought out the freshness of the bivalves. The delicately smoky flavour of the dish cemented my view that oysters are best enjoyed lightly roasted so that they are halfway cooked.
Roasted Rock Oysters, $5 each
Next up, we had the Fermented Potato Bread which sounded intriguing on the menu (if not particularly appetising) as it was served with kefir cream and trout roe. This dish taught us not to judge a book by its cover, as the potato bread was some of the softest we’ve ever had and when smeared with a generous amount of that flavoursome kefir cream and trout roe, it tasted absolutely heavenly and left us wanting more.
Fermented Potato Bread, $22
The tenderly grilled Eggplant with Enoki and Wattleseed was our next encounter with the wood fired oven and it didn’t disappoint, with the mushroom adding an extra layer of umami to the flavour profile of the dish.
Eggplant, Enoki and Wattleseed, $17
We were convinced by our waitress to try their special of the day, which was the grilled Bonito Head served Sang Choy Bow style. It was a little difficult getting all the meat out from the fish collar upwards, but there was enough to get a few rounds of the lettuce cups happening with the delicious condiments on the side really making the dish sing (we especially loved the hot sauce).
Bonito Head Sang Choy Bow
The highlight of the night was definitely the Moreton Bay Bug which was drizzled with an addictive salt and pepper sauce that complemented the smokiness infused into the meat. Our only complaint was that there wasn’t more of it for the price.
Moreton Bay Bug with Salt and Pepper Sauce, $55
We rounded out the meal by sharing the Whole Quail with Salted Egg Yolk which was cooked to perfection. While the boniness of the quail makes it a bit finnicky to share, the juiciness of the meat was worth the effort.
Whole Quail with Salted Egg Yolk, $25
Dining at Ester is a pricey affair, but well worth the experience of all sorts of different ingredients being cooked in that amazing wood fired oven of theirs, paired with the array of delicious condiments elevating the dishes to another level. The industrial chic decor of the space and sharing style menu lends itself well to catch ups, though the premium price tag means that it is more likely to be a special treat type of restaurant.
46-52 Meagher Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
Phone: (02) 8068 8279