Sampling the entire menu at est.

After the somewhat disappointing service at Sepia, I was a little apprehensive about visiting est. with my family the following night for dinner. Have my years in Europebigland raised my fine-dining expectations to ridiculous standards? Are my pseudo-serious lamentations about lack of Australian culture and appreciation for fine things grounded in depressing reality? Or have I just become an unjustified snob, despite my working-class-to-bourgeois upbringing?

But from the moment we were greeted by the maître d’hôtel and led to our table, all those questions and anxieties dissipated. Sepia‘s service must’ve been an exception, because yup, est. definitely knows what they’re doing.

Loving the atmosphere!

Loving the atmosphere!

Since there were four of us and the four courses all had four options, it was the perfect opportunity to sample everything on the menu. Each of us decided on our top choices for each course, and bam! Nomfest! Most of the dishes were solid, with a few standouts, and I’ll be commenting on them in the photo captions, while I’ve nabbed the course descriptions from est.‘s website. Unfortunately, I’m a newb when it comes to low-light photography (and photography in general, come to think of it), so these mightn’t all be aesthetically pleasing–but in this case, please don’t judge est. by my amateur point-and-shooting!


Cocktails

gorgeous george: jameson & chivas whisky, grand marnier, dom benedictine, lemon, bitters, shaken together ($22)

Perfect for a whisky-lover!

Perfect for a whisky-lover!

moscow mule: absolute elyx vodka, shaken with fresh lime juice and sugar cane syrup, topped with ginger beer, served tall ($22)

manhattan: original, dry or perfect. maker’s mark bourbon, stirred with vermouth, angostura bitters and a splash of maraschino ($22)

We didn't order any wine this time round, but I wouldn't mind returning for a glass or five in the future. ;)

We didn’t order any wine this time round, but I wouldn’t mind returning for a glass or five in the future. ;)


First Course

salad of mud crab, piel de sapo melon,heart of palm, crème fraiche, radish, marigold

Dad seemed to enjoy this, so yay!

Dad seemed to enjoy this, so yay!

salad of roasted beetroot, smoked sheep’s yoghurt, lardo, buckwheat praline, raspberries

Mum liked this well enough.

Mum liked this well enough.

mushroom consommé, seared wagyu 9+, enoki mushrooms, green apple, celeriac, onion rings (mine!)

I got this--incidentally, it's the only warm item in the menu of cold starters. It was pretty good, but not spectacular.

I got this–incidentally, it’s the only warm item in the menu of cold starters. It was pretty good, but not spectacular.

sashimi of yellowfin tuna, jamon cream, jerusalem artichoke, ponzu, mustard, nasturtium (Wendy got this, and it was a superior treatment of tuna compared to Sepia‘s I had the previous day!)

Wendy was super happy with this one!

Wendy was super happy with this one!


Second Course

grilled scallops, bone marrow, pickled onion, potato wafer, parsley shallot puree

Solid scallops for mum.

Solid scallops for mum.

freshwater marron tail, baby fennel, black garlic, celtuce, brown butter, bisque

Wendy got this, and it was okay--a little bland, and where there was flavour, it was a little fishy.

Wendy got this, and it was okay–a little bland, and where there was flavour, it was a little fishy.

slow cooked pork jowl, parsnip, beurre bosc pear, hazelnut, sherry vinegar (mine!)

This. Was. Amazeballs. The pork was so tender and beautiful, and the flavours basically perfect. Would definitely order it again!

This. Was. Amazeballs. The pork was so tender and beautiful, and the flavours basically perfect. Would definitely order it again!

steamed murray cod, shaved abalone, snow peas, black fungi, ginger – green shallot vinaigrette

Dad loved the softness of the fish.

Dad loved the softness of the fish.


Third Course

bass groper fillet, aparagus, jerusalem artichoke, trompettes, quinoa crumb, lemon

We realised during the third course that dad had gotten pretty much all seafood! But it was yummy, so yay!

We realised during the third course that dad had gotten pretty much all seafood! But it was yummy, so yay!

milk fed lamb loin, grilled leek, pickled shallot, eggplant, mustard, miso, mint oil

Mum thought this was too "lamb-y", but Wendy and I enjoyed it.

Mum thought this was too “lamb-y”, but Wendy and I enjoyed it.

dry aged rangers valley sirloin, salt backed turnip, cime di rapa, anchovy, black olive, potato crumb

Wendy adored this, and was grinning throughout her main. I had a bite, and it was some pretty good beef!

Wendy adored this, and was grinning throughout her main. I had a bite, and it was some pretty good beef!

juniper crusted venison saddle, quince puree, purple carrots, boudin noir (mine!)

My frolics in the UK have gotten me hooked on venison, which is not so common in Australia, but I loved how this was prepared. The junipers were a beautiful complement to the gamey meat.

My frolics in the UK have gotten me hooked on venison, which is not so common in Australia, but I loved how this was prepared. The junipers were a beautiful complement to the gamey meat.


Fourth Course

chocolate tart, roasted barley custard, miso-milk sorbet, chocolate caramel, malt (mine–obvs!)

Om nom nom! A very, very good chocolate tart--would have again!

Om nom nom! A very, very good chocolate tart–would have again!

macadamia parfait, poached beurre bosc pear, white beer, pear sorbet, nougatine

This was Wendy's, and she wasn't a huge fan. It was the prettiest of the lot, but perhaps the least yummy.

This was Wendy’s, and she wasn’t a huge fan. It was the prettiest of the lot, but perhaps the least yummy.

passionfruit souffle, passionfruit sorbet

Dad had this, and it was definitely very passionfruit-y.

Dad had this, and it was definitely very passionfruit-y.

coconut sorbet, black sesame, passionfruit curd, pineapple, coconut caramel, tarragon

Mum had this, and we all agreed it was the best dessert. The coconut flavour was really intense, and the black sesame "shell" was gorgeous. Wendy and I want to return for this!

Mum had this, and we all agreed it was the best dessert. The coconut flavour was really intense, and the black sesame accompaniment was gorgeous. Wendy and I want to return for this!


Petits fours

Macarons, jellies, dark chocolate truffles.

Dad was especially fond of the truffles, and I had to agree--mmm, the chocolatey goodness!

Dad was especially fond of the truffles, and I had to agree–mmm, the chocolatey goodness!

Visited on: Saturday, 19 September 2015. Dinner.

Spent: $750 for four people. ($155 for four courses, chefs menu, dinner)

Overall: Excellent service–when a waiter accidentally cleared dad’s drink before he was finished, they replaced it without any drama. The cocktails were also delicious, and at some point, I’d like to return and have my meal with some matched wines. Although I’d consider the overall menu relatively average for an establishment of this calibre, I enjoyed certain dishes enough to return in the future. And of course, the service needs to be praised once more, because it’s such a crucial element of the fine-dining experience! Within this context, I give it 8.5/10.


est.

Level 1, Establishment
252 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
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See website for opening hours and available menus.

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