Estelle Bar and Kitchen

Estelle Bar and Kitchen
243 High St, Northcote, Melbourne, Australia
03 9489 4609

Our first encounter with Estelle Bar and Kitchen is the #Ciderpig event organised by Fringe Food Fest.  At that time, we went out in Estelle’s back courtyard and never had a chance to see the actual restaurant.   Whilst ciderpig was fantastic, at that time it didn’t really showcase what Estelle can actually do, until I stumble across it again while looking for  a place to go for a leisurely Sunday lunch.

Estelle’s menu is mainly focussed on tastings, you can choose 3, 5, 7, 9 courses, with matching wines if you like and it seemed as if each day the menu is slightly different.  You do get a menu to have a look at what’s on offer, but occassionally the chef may decided to throw in a dish or two that is not on the menu.  They do ask for your dietary requirement though so you’re in safe hands.  We decided on the 5 courses, without matching wines for $70 per person.

We were given three Amuse Bouche: dehydrated sardines and tapioca crisps dipped in sour cream, melon in an edible wrapping and chickpea chip.

People who doesn’t like fishy stuff might find that dehydrated sardine crisps disgusting, but I thought it was quite yummy, especially dipped into the sour cream.  My mouth instantly filled with sweetness when I popped the melon and sticky edible wrap in my mouth and the hot chickpea chip with olive and salt has a very different texture to normal chip and just tasted creamy and crunchy and salty and yum.  If this is the standard of the amuse bouche, I am very excited about the rest of the courses.

Our first course is the veggie dish- gold and red beetroot with ashed goats cheese and snowpea sprout.  That’s when I realised I forgot to tell them I don’t like goat’s cheese and hubby forgot to tell them he doesn’t like beetroot!  But guess what?  We ate every single bit of it.  The beetroot is very very sweet and firm.. I am not too sure whether Hubby just got scarred by those sloppy sour beetroot and hence he hates beetroot, but this beetroot is nice and fresh and that’s why it’s so yummy.  The goat cheese thankfully does not have a heavy goaty flavour, more like a herbed creamy flavour which went very very well with the beetroot.

Next is the smoked eel with candied celery, dollops of yoghurt, chickpea shoots and camomile.  Must admit we both didn’t like this dish much, one of the eel is quite chewy and the candied celery taste a bit like medicine.  The dollops of yoghurt saved the day though, and helped us get through this dish.

This looks quite simple and elegant: blue eye with confit fennel and lemon foam.  This dish is simply awesome- the blue eye is fresh and slightly firm, simply cooked so you can taste the freshness.  What really adds to the flavour is the fragrant and slightly oversalted fennel which compliments rather than overpower the subtle flavour of the fish.  The lemon foam I find only adds to the wow factor of the dish than really do anything special, although it was still yum.

We saw the table next to us having this awesome awesome beef with this cool looking black garlic sauce- so imagine our disappointment when we got-chicken.  But you know what?  The chicken was simply awesome, and we quickly forgot about the steak.  The chicken was poached then seared, it was just cooked, there is still a tiny little bit of pink but that’s how you get the awesome tenderness of the meat.  OMG YUM!   There is also a hell lot of unami in the corn and chicken reduction and the dainty brussell sprout/baby corn garnishes are so cute.  I love every element of the dish, even the quail egg which is beautifully cooked but not too sure why it’s there- but yes, it’s still good!  OMG.

Dessert time!  They actually give you two different desserts so you can share with your dining partner.  Hubby was given a strawberry, vanilla with basil granita and I was given this sponge cake with salted caramel sauce, icecream, peanuts and 5-spice.  Mine sounded a bit weird and the sponge cake look like those Chinese white moss LOL.  But it was YUM… I don’t even like salted caramel but this goes so well with the whole sponge, peanuts concoction, and the five spice wasn’t really strong either so it doesn’t make it weird.  Hubby’s very happy with his dessert also which is extremely refreshing and of course those lucscious strawberries are sweet and fresh.

YAY!  We also get a bonus dessert- white choc and coffee mousse, smoked choc and some crunchy choc underneath.  At first I thought the smoked choc really overpowers and I didn’t really like it, but slowly, somehow, all the flavours melds together and mellows out and you can taste the subtle coffee, smoky choc, crunchy choc… nom nom nom.

The verdict: There is only one dish we don’t particularly like which was the eel, all the other dishes are perfect or near perfect.  The only one other complaint may be that the servings are on the small side, but all the bonus dishes more than made up for that. 9/10

For my latest blog on Estelle click here- it’s TRUFFLES GALORE!

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