March into Merivale, the recession busting promotion that has been running offering $33 meals, is almost over and I only managed one visit! But I made sure it was to the best: Est Restaurant…awarded three hats by the SMH Good Food Awards, and with Peter Doyle at the helm it is consistently reviewed as one of the best restaurants in Sydney.
DeskBuddy and I were suitably excited and looking forward to our lamb, which we had picked out of the weeks’ offerings. Neither of us having visited before, we had no idea what to expect with respect to decor or service beyond knowing that it was fine dining.
Our booking was early, for 12pm, and when we arrived the lift was still locked, so we retired to the main bar of the establishment to wait, as did many other early lunchers.
On entering the restaurant, what surprised me most was it’s vastness. My experience of fine dining is that spaces are intimate or at least styled to feign intimacy. But Est is one very large room with lot’s of tables!I loved the small details: the pots of orchids, the chandeliers…
We were quickly seated near the centre of the restaurant, and handed menus. As we’d previously perused the menu, and were having the set meal, all we were really looking at were possible side dishes and potential desserts! We settled on a side salad of radishes, rockets, cucumber, goats fetta, olives and cracker bread..
Our wine was poured, red for me, and white for DeskBuddy, as we waited for our main.
Our main arrived: A hugely generous serve of Lamb rump, lentils, confit cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic and potatoes
It was an enormous serve of meat, perfectly cooked, juicy and tender…For $33, fantastic value! The side salad we ordered was also delicious and a slightly unusual take on fattoush, a middle eastern salad with broken up pieces of dried flatbread.
We were stuffed! it was a very high protein meal! Seriously the lamb was huge! We had thought about dessert, but when we looked at the menu and saw that they averaged $25 each we passed, and settled on petits four and coffee instead…This proved to be a good idea as we were so full..
The second item was a friand, and there was a jelly of indeterminate flavour, but our favourite was a cocoa/choc crusted candied walnut…omigod yum! The others were chocolate truffles…
The only disappointment was our coffee. Utter rubbish. They really shouldn’t bother at all. So bad no amount of sugar could compensate and they were both left almost full as we left. The nicest touch was the Maitre’d and a waiter making sure to come over and say goodbye to us as we left.
I’d definitely go back to Est to try out the a la carte menu, but only if someone else is paying 😉
252 George Street
02 9240 3000