Chef Mat Lindsay (ex-Billy Kwong and Rockpool) has built this restaurant and its menu around a domed, wood-fire oven, and most of the dishes emerge from the kitchen with crunchy, charred edges and/or more than a hint of smoky flavour. Fittingly, earthy tones of black, dark brown and stone grey dominate in the restaurant’s pared back fit-out.
The wood-fire oven’s rich and complex smoke flavours are complemented with clean, fresh, palate-exciting accompaniments. For example, smoky oven-baked pumpkin sits on a bed of slightly acid, whey-based sauce, topped with crunchy pepitas, pepperleaf and wattleseed. If fish head is on the specials menu, assembling san choi bao-style parcels from lettuce cups, succulent morsels of fish, nori tapenade and house chilli sauce is a very special treat. Raw kingfish matched with salted cucumber and hot mustard provides a beautiful counterpoint to the smoky offerings from the oven.
PSST! ester’s spectacular signature dish is the oven-roasted cauliflower served with almond sauce and mint.