Sydney, New South Wales

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2016 SMH Good Food Guide Awards - Two Chef Hats
From the team that brought you much loved wine bars Vini, Berta and 121BC comes Ester, a quirky, chic restaurant tucked away in Chippendale. The cavernous space is dimly lit by low hanging globe-shaped lights, with arched openings affording diners a view to the bustling kitchen. A wood fired oven spurs much of the menu, with everything from crab to cauliflower feeling the blaze at some point during cooking. The eclectic wine list is short but sweet.
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Opening Times

General info


46-52 Meagher Street,
Chippendale NSW 2008





Modern Australian, Woodfired Cooking

Price Range:

$$$$ ~ $$$$


Fully Licensed (no BYO)

More info


Ester has opened in Chippendale, about halfway between Redfern and Central Station on a quiet side street. The intimate space emits a golden glow from the street, a very inviting sight on a windy night. Once seated, you will remain in good hands for the rest of your evening – the service is fine dining standard but far friendlier.

The menu is divided into snacks, small plates, wood-fired and sides. As soon as we found out what ‘brunet / formai de mut / mandarin' was, there was no question we were ordering it. A layer of mandarin jam, topped with brunet (a tangy young Italian goat's cheese with a strong, earthy flavour), coated in grated formai de mut (a sweet, grassy Italian firm cheese) served with thin, crunchy slices of bread. Scooping up the gooey cheeses and the tart mandarin jam was like sampling the whole cheese board in one mouthful – genius.

Next was the asparagus, served with pistachio mousse, a just-poached egg and crunchy roasted pistachios. The egg split to coat the asparagus in a rich sauce; with the crunchy pistachio and lemon infused mousse, this dish was licked clean.

The octopus arrived in thick chunks with one long curly tendril – quite possibly the tenderest I have ever tasted. Served with nduja (a spicy spreadable sausage) which emitted rich, harissa flavoured oil and rings of fire-toasted onion, this dish was another one at the top of the list.

The fish fillet was served in a rich, sweet soy broth and the cauliflower lived up to the hype – it's the go-to dish of the menu. A whole head of cauliflower, scorched and tender, with almond mousse, lemon dressing, mint and almonds was a again, one of the best vegetable dishes I've eaten this year.

I recommend waiting until a few dishes have arrived to see how each dish compliments each other. There was a real diversity of flavours – owner Mat Lindsay doesn't limit himself to one cuisine – but they match surprisingly well. Cooking the food in the wood-fired oven imbues a smoky depth to each dish, rather than blanketing the food with a single charred taste, it draws out the flavour in each dish while leaving it perfectly, tenderly cooked.

With an accidental extra serving of broccolini thrown in, sadly there was no way we could fit in dessert but the three ices looked wonderful. The wine list had a generous 'by the glass' section; the Domaine des Espiers GSM was particularly good with the heavier courses and the Domino Do Bibei Mencia Lalama tasted of raspberries and had a smooth finish.

With excellent service, elegant yet casual ambiance and food that couldn't be faulted, Ester has to be one of the standout openings this year.
Georgia Booth

Specials & Events

This restaurant has not scheduled any event.


Please contact the restaurant for further information.


Award Winning / Hatted
Fixed / set price available
Something Different
Suitable for Groups of 10
This restaurant does not have any awards.


Damien Brassel on 10/10/2014
Ester Restaurant and Bar - not so much a secret now that they won Best New Restaurant in the SMH Good Food Awards for 2015, but again great food and friendly service.
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Michael Fischer - 9/08/2013
It was a miserable night - cold, wet and windy. Plenty of available street parking - no signage but we were at the right address. A smallish cosy restaurant with a large dominant bar - and filled on a Wednesday night. Menu is compact and dishes designed for sharing. Between 4 of us we probably had about 65% of the menu and there wasn't a dud dish. I particularly enjoyed the carrot dishes - caramelized topped with crunchy sesame seeds plus; the chicken dish was sensational as was the fresh fish of the day. Whilst the restaurant is a temple to organic produce - reflected also in the wine list - I thought that the wine list - giving an excellent selection from around the world - was somewhat intimidating in that most wines were priced over $45. Looking at the demographic dining on Wednesday - there seemed to be an imbalance from this perspective. I liked the free home-made sparkling water. Will be back.