A change of direction at The Estelle with chef Ryan Flaherty There a little bit of Basque country foaming away in Northcote, at the relaunched The Estelle, best known previously for the knitted cuts of meat hanging on the wall. How much foam diners in Northcote – or indeed Melbourne – can take is the question that perplexes me. The food (and foam) coming out of the kitchen of the newly installed chef Ryan Flaherty, which was recently bought by The Point’s executive chef Scott Pickett, is terrific. And unlike may purveyors of foam, the delicate successor to rich jus and butter-enhanced sauces, Flaherty knows what he is doing. His resume counts working at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck for two years, experimenting in the laboratory of Arzak in San Sebastian for a year (while working at Afuego Nero) and spending seven months in the kitchen of Ferran Adria’s El Bulli before returning to Australia in March 2010 and working at The Point. But Australian diners have seen so much poorly executed foam that however it is used, it has lost its currency and is treated with suspicion. Northcote fried sweetbreads What Flaherty is bringing to Melbourne is a bit of contemporary Basque-style cuisine and represents a complete change of direction at The Estelle. He brings plenty of humour and whimsy with dishes such as sweetbread nuggets, sweet paprika mayonnaise presented in a smily-faced cardboard container challenging anything any fast food outlet may serve. Sardine fossil The sardine fossil is one of Flaherty’s innovations in San Sebastian; sardines and split and dried, then deep fried in tapioca to the point of becoming a cracker, served in a martini glass with a foamed sour cream. Another glimpse of Basque cuisine comes with leatherjacket cheeks and orzo peeking out under a green snow pea foam and Blue Eye Bakala (salt cod), fennel & lemon and Skate, white onion gel and black olives – an homage to the classic skate with black butter and capers. Foam! The dishes are available as snacks (from $6 to $13) or plates ($19 to $25) or a seven course degustation for $70. Finish with the Rhubarb & musk which, as is the case nowadays, is much more complex and gorgeous-looking than it sounds. High Street Northcote is increasing becoming worth a detour for dinner but now with The Estelle open during the day is worth a lunchtime trip… Read more »
Posts Categorized: High Street Northcote
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- Truffle dinner number 2You asked for it – seems like I better give it I guess. We’ve pressed Scott Pickett into service on another of his nights off to cook more truffles for us on the 15th July. What: Truffle dinner featuring truffles from around Australia with matched wines and giveaways.When: 6:30pm for a 7pm start Tuesday 15th JulyWhere: Estelle 243 High […]
- Truffle Dinner: MenuChef Scott Pickett has put his fingers to the keyboard and has sent me through the menu, We have a few tickets left, so if you’ve already booked, let your friends know. (And if you haven’t booked – get a wriggle on, this will sell out!) What: Truffle dinner featuring truffles from around Australia with matched […]
- Madame Estelle’s Fringe (yes – TRUFFLE TIME!)Fringe Food is four truffle season old. Can you believe it? This year sees us back collaborating with Madame Truffles and we’ll be returning to Estelle in Northcote, home of one of my personal favourite truffle dinners so far. We’d better outdo that one I guess! What: Truffle dinner featuring truffles from around Australia with matched […]
- Lunch at Movida Aqui – Seaweed SalonI’ve just been sent the menu for our Seaweed Salon on 3 May and I have to say that it looks like a stand out. And we’ve confirmed that it can be adjusted to pescatarian friendly (we will substitute the beef course) What: Lunch featuring seaweed and sea plants, matched wines and education. When: 12:30pm […]