Hi guys, so the hubby and I finally walked over to check out and dine in the newly-opened restaurant, Ester in my suburb Chippendale yesterday. Had walked past it on my way home several times while it was still under construction and thought it exuded a very classy vibe.
I especially liked its spaciousness.
Happy to report that both the hubby and I loved their food... a lot!
As we already did some snacking at home, we decided to only get two of the smaller plates to share and one main under the woodfired section each. Except the food items at Ester weren't labelled as such because they were, according to the friendly waitress that served us, meant for sharing! Kinda reminds me of Hartsyard, and that's a good thing.
Freaking love Hartsyard!
But I digress.
Anyway, we were presented with a complimentary appetizer of fried chickpeas with rosemary; easy to polish off in under one minute thanks to its addictive quality.
One of the smaller plates that we got were the prawns with capers and lemon. Boy, did it raise our expectations for the rest of the meal to the roof as not only were the prawns succulent and bouncy in texture, the smokiness from the woodfire also came through well! Not overpowering, just enough to lend sensationalism to an otherwise run-of-the-mill dish. The hubby who wasn't a fan of prawns also thought the dish fragrant enough to warrant his finishing of his share.
Next to arrive was the duck with enoki mushrooms and Nashi pear. Hands-down my favorite dish of the night! I had forgotten how good duck meat can taste, so thanks for reminding me Ester! Theirs was juicy and sufficiently moist with a wonderful, rich gamey flavor that renders the tiniest shudder of pleasure every time you sink your teeth into it, hmmmm.... and I thought the trimmings worked rather well together with the duck too! The enoki mushrooms were cooked to just the right tenderness and the crisp, tart pear lent the dish a nice contrast in texture.
The hubby's choice; steak/bagna cauda/radish. We absolutely loved it. It was done medium-rare, and.... basically an explosion of tastes and textures in your mouth. From the "damn good" (his words) beef to how the radish provided some pickled crunchiness, we felt very satisfied as this was definitely the quality we had expected after the first two amazing dishes.
The satisfaction continued with the arrival of my dish, the chicken/lemon/garlic. Note that the waitress' upbeat and friendly service also set a great tone for the night. My dish was quite generous and I had to share it with the hubby. He thought that it was completely overshadowed by the previous three dishes but I begged to differ; I found the chicken juicy on its own but coupled with the zest from the lemon, utterly delectable. It could have been more "garlicky", maybe, but I wasn't going to nitpick when I was clearly enjoying the dripping wet, juicy meat and apparently "looking like I intended to lick the bowl clean"!
No dessert this time around but will return, and definitely not for the sole reason that it's only one street away. :)