Est. // Sydney, Australia
The quiet lift of Establishment building smoothly opens to a plush white carpet, leading into an all white, minimal dining hall. For the high ceilings and large space that make Est. , make it anything but a dining room.
The sun spills into the space from the large windows, quiet murmurs of fellow diners set a tranquil ambiance.
Bond, my fellow diner, wants to try it all. Here for a rockstar week in Sydney, lunch and dinner must all be top notch. Est. is the first of Miss Money Penny’s choices.
A big crab fan, the salad of spanner crab is my only request.
// Salad of spanner crab //
A medley of light, fresh flavours - avocado, corn, lime and mint do well not to overpower the sweet taste of the crab itself.
// Sashimi of ocean trout //
Next up, the sashimi of ocean trout was served as a salad. Thin slices of shaved cucumber, elegant chunks of ruby grapefruit, salad burnette and verjus jelly all made quite the special dish. Small violet flowers added the forager touch.
// Heirloom tomato consomme with scampi //
Spring served on a dish would look like this; heirloom tomato consomme with sweet scampi, tomato, cucumber, chervil and tarragon. The flavours all complemented each other but still left room in the stomach for more.
// Moreton bay bug //
The Moreton bay bug with coconut, wombak (a chinese cabbage), ginger, chilli, kaffir lime and coriander was heavenly. The texture light, soft and the bay bug cooked with juices intact. This was a favourite.
It was to be a seafood feast as the dishes kept rolling out. Gluttony at lunch, at its best.
// Steamed murray cod //
The steamed murray cod fillet, with shaved abalone, snow peas, black fungi, ginger with green shallot vinaigrette was my least favourite. The cod lacked flavour, the word ‘slimy’ sprung to mind. Cod is a hard fish to get right, and I’m pretty sure so far only the Japs have managed to master it.
// Grilled scallops //
The grilled white scallops with shaved fennel, zucchini flower, truffle, rocket in a light sauce of dandelion was tasty but lacked punch. I love scallops, even more when they are in a ginger chilli sauce that add a real kick to their texture. Nevertheless, the scallops were perfect - soft on teh inside, a paper thin crust outside.
There was also the john dory with green peas, baby tumips, radishes, chervil and bonito flakes. But neither a picture was snapped nor a shining to it taste wise.
Est. ‘s strength lies in it’s crayfish and seafood. The fish, although perfectly cooked lack intense flavours. If I wanted to have a simple fillet of john dory, I’d ask costi then steam it myself. A restaurant’s job is to be inventive with it and open up your palette to wider tastes.
The crowd is mainly suits and the odd tourist who has picked up the right food guide. At night, dates to impress and foodies flock to level 1 before continuing up to Hemmesphere for a digestif or cocktail.
Sadly, desserts couldn’t be sampled as Miss Money Penny had an appointment to rush to. But the list looked promising, an a return shall most definitely be made. Even if just for a sugar tasting.
// Est. interior //
Level 1, 252 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Tel. +61 2 9240 3000