Birthdays, YAY!!! Whether it's my own or someone else's I love getting together with my favourite people to celebrate. It's a time of happiness, growing wiser, (growing older....), and of course it's a great excuse to indulge at your favourite restaurant or go to that new restaurant you've been dying to try and no ones allowed to say otherwise because it's your special day and you get to do and go wherever you want. Hurrah!!
In this case, my mate Matt was coming of age so he organised a small get together at Ester. This place has been around for about 5 years and has built itself a pretty good reputation. Situated on a rather unassuming street in Chippendale, the elevated dining area is simple and modern with white, balloon like light shades strung overhead. The exposed brickwork and meat hook coat hangers (love it) add to the relaxed, industrial style.
The menus were placed on our table along with a small bowl of crispy balls of heavenly goodness. Also known as baked, rosemary flavoured chickpeas. These crunchy morsels were dangerously divine and before long we were one bowl down and onto the second. Reminding ourselves that they were merely a snack and not the main course we swiftly picked up the menus and proceeded to order.
"Happy Birthday to you, lets eat lots of food. I have a food baby, but it was worth it for you."
Unfortunately the first couple of dishes were not terribly overwhelming. I found the pippies a bit bland and overcooked and the raw fish, meh, I could take it or leave it.
The entrees however were saved by a couple of show stoppers. Firstly, the squid ink dumplings, black, shiny, gelatinous dumplings. They were interesting in texture and really quite delicious. The bone marrow was off the chart. Very rich and intense in flavour and by far the best thing I ate all night.
For mains we ordered the sirloin, which I unfortunately found a bit tough, the leaf salad, duck fat potatoes and roast cauliflower. It was all tasty but I would probably order differently next time. I thought I would be more wowed but I found some of the dishes quite standard and nothing that I hadn't seen before.
The meal ended on a high as dessert was brought out. Firstly a burnt pav with freeze dried mandarins and macadamias, salted caramel semi-freddo topped with black sesame. Yes!..... I know right? Then the three milks consisting of dulce de leche, foam and pannacotta. I couldn't fault either of the desserts. Packed full of flavour and an abundance of texture the desserts spoke for themselves, which was clear to see as both plates were licked clean.
Happy belated Birthday Matty Matt Chee!!! Looking forward to celebrating (and eating at) many more with you.