Ester Restaurant: Great food, convivial atmosphere

Introduction to Ester

Ester in the inner Sydney suburb of Chippendale is the perfect package. Beautifully cooked food, attentive service, interesting wines and a pleasant, understated space combine to make dining here a very enjoyable experience.

The chef is Mat Lindsay whose cooking we first experienced (and thoroughly enjoyed) at 121 BC. At Ester he has installed a wood-fired oven and makes his own smallgoods and charcuterie. The food is produce driven and cooked with considerable skill.

Ester: The Food and Wine

Dishes we have enjoyed over the years include a delicate dish of carrots with sesame and parmesan and a stunning steamed bread sandwich filled with a small blood sausage. A clever dish combining pig’s tail with delicately smoked oyster and compressed cucumber to provide beautifully integrated flavours and textures.

Ester potato bread with kefir cream and trout roe
Potato bread with kefir cream and trout roe

Since then we have been attracted back for the fermented potato bread with salmon roe and kefir cream (above), the blood sausage sanga which we order on every visit, the cheddar pie, the raw kingfish with koshu and nori or the amazing deep sea jumbo scampi from Western Australia.

Another dish that we have thoroughly enjoyed is the wood fired calamari shown below.

Ester wood fired calamari with squid ink soubise
Wood fired calamari with squid ink soubise

The wine list is a romp through Australia and Europe highlighting many lesser known winemakers such as talented Basket Ranges producers Gareth Belton from Gentle Folk and Tim and Monique from Manon Farm or the orange Momento Mori from the Yarra Valley along with other better known wines such as the Cantino Giardino wines from Campania or the Jean Foillard Morgon from Beaujolais.

We go back here again and again because it is one of our favourite restaurants in the world. It ranks alongside Relae in Copenhagen, Hearth in New York, Zuni Café in San Francisco, Asador Etxebarri in Spain, Lyle’s in London, Yardbird in Hong Kong, Bunon in Tokyo and Pure & V and Le Canon in Nice. It also reminds us of the restaurant in Washington that we used to love called Rupperts.

It is difficult to put in words why we are attracted to return again and again to some restaurants and not others, even though they are rated highly.

It must be the combination of excellent food, comforting surroundings and caring service that attracts us, but more than anything the food must be “real”.

And may be that is one of the reasons why we have turned to the pages of the Michelin Guides less and less over the years and instead turned for advice to bloggers who we trust or guides such as Le Fooding who tend to shy away from the very upmarket restaurants and instead look for places where the food and the wine offerings are more in tune with the concept of real food and real wine.

Ester is such a place!

Additional information

Street: 46-52 Meagher Street

Town/Suburb: Chippendale,

Town/Suburb: Sydney

Phone number: +61 2 8068 8279

Opening hours: Drinks and dinner Tue – Sat

To check the latest information about Ester such as their opening hours in these uncertain times click on the link below.

Ester Restaurant