Monday, February 18, 2013

Estelle Bar and Kitchen - Northcote - review

Mr.M and I found ourselves with a babysitter and 1.5hours to ourselves. Naturally, we set straight about to finding a restaurant to glutton the time away. 
Mr.M felt like some Modern Australian so after a quick search on Urbanspoon I stumbled upon a restaurant in a suburb that to be honest with you, wouldn't have even registered on my radar to dine in. Seeing so many rave reviews we thought we couldn't lose, and as luck would have it we snagged a seat at the bar.

The restaurant itself is very intimate, the smallest of spaces, dimly lit with patterned walls and a wooden bar. Mr.M remarked that the tiled wall reminded him of a public bathroom though. We informed our waitress that we only had 1.5hours to spare and what courses could we fit in that time, she remarked that they could definitely do 7 in that time frame, but I was dubious and decided to play it safe with the 5 courses for $70., which was fortunate as we ended up leaving 10 minutes late.

We started off with some appetisers:

Jerusalem artichoke with Persian feta
This was my favourite of the trio. 
Fake chicken skin with yoghurt

This was quite oily and a strong acrid overtone.
Pickled rockmelon

Mr.M enjoyed this one the most. It was quite fresh and light.

Aviation cocktail ginmaraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice.

Mr.M thoroughly enjoyed this cocktail, even if he did find it a touch strong.

Leek, fennel and olive

This was pleasant, the olive paste was the starring element and brought the subtler leek and fennel flavours together.
Eggplant, soy and sesame

I was incredibly hungry and yet I had to force myself to finish it - the seawood and salt factor was too overwhelming for me, it wasn't balanced.
Heirloom tomatoes and fior di latte

This was nice enough but nothing flash, middle of the road tomato salad and consomme.
Green apple and coffee

Mr.M enjoyed this.


I enjoyed this. The little 70s orange droplets (I cant remember what the flavour was) were delicious and kicked everything up a notch. 
Sher Wagyu, burnt onion and horseradish

Mr.M's favourite dish of the night.
Sour cream, pumpkin and salted caramel

I feel like there must be something wrong with me, because contrary to all the reviews I have read, I did NOT like this at all. For me, it was reminiscent of soggy bread. There was no flavour that spoke to me and the textures were unappetising. It is probably one of the least delicious desserts I have ever had. I honestly don't know why so many other customers liked it...

Perhaps I walked in with too empty a belly because after their 5 courses I felt as though I had only eaten a standard entree. Their portion sizes are quite small, even for degustation.
The service was also slow with our empty plates remaining before us for 15 minutes each time. 
I do want to say though that our bartender was fabulous, and on more than one occasion it was he who alerted our waitress to remove our finished plates and ended up bringing us the bill.
With dining out being a rare occurrence for us now, I don't think we shall be returning.

Estelle Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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