Ask any Sydney foodie for restaurant recommendations and Ester is sure to get a mention. Nestled amongst the warehouses in the back streets of Chippendale it’s a slightly unexpected location but that doesn’t stop it from being almost fully booked when we make our reservation.
The dining space accommodates 55 with cosy tables set close together and a string of high stools circling the sweeping bar. The cool interior of dove grey walls and poured concrete arches are punctuated with pops of deep blue. As we are shown to our table we take advantage of the elbow to elbow seating and sneak a peak to our neighbours for an insight on what to order… it all looks delicious
Chef Mat Lindsay commands Ester’s open kitchen, previously earning his straps working in the kitchens at Billy Kwong and Rockpool. At Ester, Lindsay deploys his love of cooking with a wood fire oven so we prepare ourselves for modern Australian dishes with a hint of rustic, smokey flavours. It’s not long before our waiter arrives and recommends to start with the potato bread served with with a kefir cream and trout roe.
It lands with glistening pearls of amber roe, and the hunk of bread renders a crusty char from the wood fire oven. This is exactly what we love about Ester, uncomplicated and simple but flavoursome. The roe is divine with just the right amount of fresh saltiness from the sea and the potato bread is somehow dense, fluffy and crunchy all at once.
A single serve of the blood-sausage sanga is placed before us and its naked simplicity is almost startling. It disappears as quickly as it arrived and its devourer described it as Nan’s best sausage sizzle but more elegant. In fact, this humble sanga is often the dish from Ester that you will hear people raving about, again championing the fact that simplicity is often the best.
We were also given the heads up that Ester’s prawns are a must so when we are told there’s a prawn special we jump on it.
The Scarlet Prawn is phenomenal, a single bright red crustacean served with marie rose sauce is accompanied by a plate of hand cut egg noodles and a side of crunchy prawn legs. The thick noodles are coated with a just a smidge of a creamy, buttery sauce and the prawn is perfectly cooked. This is a satisfying dish, the crunchy fried legs could be polarising but they do it for us and lets just say that the marie rose sauce is something from the gods. Every last dollop of sauce was sopped up with a serve of Ester’s house made bread and butter and it is pure goodness!
We also love the sides, a fresh serve of crisp gem cos lettuce, herbs and cucumber all dripping with a bitey horseradish dressing. Our neighbours encourage us to try the half head of cauliflower which arrives charred and dressed with a light almond cream, spruced with fresh mint and toasted almonds. Yum!
The food here is undoubtedly top notch although it takes us a while to settle on a Chardonnay that we enjoy. There’s also a selection of some unfiltered, natural wines and these are definitely too raw for us but a classic Negroni makes up for it.
Ok, so desert is sometimes forgotten when it comes to WTD but not this time. Since we arrived we were eyeing off the ricotta cheesecake displayed up on the pass so after a few seconds of deliberation we order it along with the sourdough ice cream.
We were told the cheesecake was baked but it’s defiantly more soft and creamy than expected suggesting its only just kissed by the wood fire oven perhaps? Baked or not- it’s fantastic. The sough dough ice cream make for a perfect combination with the cheesecake, its flavour is also unique, almost like a burnt maple or maybe it’s a panna cotta nuance? Pin pointing the exact flavour becomes a talking point at our table but all we know for certain is you must leave room for dessert!
Ester has some cool interiors. It’s a little Spanish catina fused with a lot of urban hipster so use that as your inspiration when choosing an outfit. Ester is definitely the kind of venue you can get away with cool sneakers over sky high heals so go forth in comfort. Also don’t forget to tag us and hashtag #weartodine so we can follow you back on insta!
As much as I’d love to tell you I chose this Stevie May dress on GlamCorner to compliment the pops of blue at Ester I’d be lying… What an uncanny coincidence! This dress is super cute, Stevie May is a fab label coming out of Byron Bay and we are huge fans of everything Stevie May is doing over here at WTD.
I have selected a few Stevie May pieces over the last few months from GlamCorner and have loved them all. The gingham print of this dress is the hero so I kept my handbag and shoes in the neutral and nude shades. If you love designer bags and don’t have Furla Metropolis than sista I’m here to recommend! The size is perfect to fit everything you need for a date and the simplicity of the design is timeless. Furla is well priced too with the Metropolis coming in under $400… did someone say Santa?