In the early days of share plates, independent drinks lists, woodfired everything and inventive ingredient pairings, there was Ester.

Since then there’s been Ester’s set menu, a spread that’s offered even to solo customers, often with off-menu specials. There are the cult faves like blood sausage sanga and cheesy fried corn but a three-parts seafood starter is pure surprise: rock oyster in a horseradish and eschallot milk, sea urchin with egg yolk and miso, plus wood-roasted scampi funked up with fermented shellfish dressing. A “jacket potato” served with XO Wagyu sirloin is last-dish-on-earth material: a roast potato skin filled with bonito butter mash topped with pickled potato rounds.

46-52 Meagher Street, Chippendale; (02) 8068 8279; open Saturday-Sunday for lunch and Monday-Saturday for dinner.

SEE ALSO: The Expert-Approved Guide to Where to Eat in the Sydney CBD

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