Estelle Bar and Kitchen
243 High Street
+61 3 9489 4609
One of my all-time favourite restaurants in Melbourne is The Estelle. Fakebooo and I had a degustation several years ago. That night, my heart was captured by the rhubarb and musk dessert and the memory of it lingers. I’ve returned to The Estelle a couple years back for a truffle event held by Fringe Food Festival and it too was spectacular, with the hand-rolled pasta and truffle sponge cake etched deeply in my mind. These visits were done during my pre-blogging days and I finally returned this year to try The Estelle’s celebration of winter, organised by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
Each week over the month of August an animal was paid homage to, and on our drive into Northcote, The Angmoh jubilantly announced “we are going for Angmoh duck!” This is coming from an Australian man who, in his 28 years of living in Australia, is only familiar with the Chinese styles of duck, including Peking duck and the famous roast duck from Pacific House.
As we settled into our wines, a cleansing entrée of duck consommé was tipped out of a sake bottle, pooling onto roast beetroot, duck leg and chickweed. The root vegetable bled into the broth, giving it a gradually deepening rosy hue. The duck leg was packed with flavour and each bite enhances the duck flavour of the soup.
Next, we had confit duck breast and leg with broccolini and a duck reduction. The meat was perfectly cooked, tender and blushingly pink. A smear of sweet quince paste augments the richness of poultry. A side of kipfler potatoes with lapcheong, shiitake and parsley is set down in an earthern vessel, borrowing flavours from one of my childhood favourites, claypot rice. The main also comes with coleslaw, dressed in a sparingly creamy dressing.
We finished off with a simple quince tart. The fruit had been caramelized into sweet sticky slivers and sat on crisp puff pastry. This was accompanied by a quenelle of vanilla-speckled crème fraiche. It was light and an extremely pleasant manner to round off the meal.
With flawless execution, warm service and incredible food, The Estelle will remain a favourite and I look forward to yet another wonderful experience next year.