by Angivin Gunasehar
Est is one of those restaurants with a grand facade that oozes class, sophistication and opulence. But although the service and cuisine are exceptional, it doesn’t feel pretentious.
Located in a beautiful heritage building on George St, Sydney, where the famous Ivy Night Club is frequented by the ‘cool cats’ of Sydney town, the executive head chef Peter Doyle is famous for creating contemporary seasonal Australian dishes with European precision and French flair.
Accolades are plenty; in recent times it has won Two Chef Hats in the 2016-17 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards and the 2016 Gourmet Traveller Best City Wine List.
I struggled to pick one dish from each course – a good problem to have. I started with Hand Picked Spanner Crab, Pickled Radish, Apple, Shellfish Powder, Trout Roe and Coastal Greens, a well-balanced and thought-out dish that allowed the crab to marry well with the radish and shellfish powder.
Every bite was rounded off with a tiny roe bursting with flavor and the coastal greens gave a clean freshness that was subtle yet pungent.
Moving along to the Raw Tuna, Aged Soy, Piel De Sapo Melon, Blush Turnip, Sesame Oil, Seaweed, Yuzu Kosho, the chef allowed the aesthetics of the dish to carry me through the experience as the sumptuousness of the tuna so delicate yet so deep in flavor was matched perfectly with the aged soy and blush turnip.
The Steamed Murray Cod, Shaved Abalone, Snow Peas, Black Fungi, with Ginger-Green Shallot Vinaigrette, declared a ‘must’ by our attentive and informative waitress, did not miss its mark. Such a prestigious dish featuring the elusive murray cod and lavish abalone doesn’t require much description but to not mention how the sweetness of the snow peas complemented the dish would be a travesty.
As soon as I saw smoked marrow on the menu it didn’t matter what it was supporting but the dish of Rangers Valley Beef Oxtail, Smoked Marrow, Beetroot, Horseradish, Toasted Rye, Nigella was not only memorable but a dish I will need to re-visit.
The highlight for me was the toasted rye with the marrow, the beef oxtail was cooked to perfection and I loved the care the chef gave to this dish. It really reinforced my belief that we have the best produce in the world.
Lastly, Valrhona Cholate Cremeux, Buckwheat, Cocoa Nib, Plum, Brown Butter-Miso Ice Cream ended the evening on an absolute high. Filled with different textures and contrasts from the buckwheat this decadent dessert was not overwhelming at all due to the balance of the plum. The innocent brown butter miso ice cream cut through the decadent valrhona which would normally overwhelm and delight as only high quality chocolate does.
It was a lovely evening where the focus is the produce, the customer and most importantly the experience. The service was engaging without being obtrusive whilst the staff knew the menu and the story behind each dish.
Do yourself a favour – get dressed up and immerse yourself in a little luxury for a night.
Angivin Gunasehar – Executive coach by day, foodie experience addict by night.