Ahhhhh Estelle, we meet again. My last visit to Scott Pickett's Northcote eatery took place a few years ago prior to its transformation into Estelle Bistro and ESP. While I never got around to writing a proper blog post for my visit, Estelle did make it onto my list of top 10 dining experiences in 2014.
My second and most recent encounter with Estelle came in the form of a cocktails and canapé affair to celebrate the launch of Estelle Bistro's renovated private dining room; a gorgeous upstairs space well tailored for corporate events, birthdays and launches.
Guests were treated to a delightful spread of canapés and beverages. In keeping with the high standard of Estelle and Scott Pickett, the use of excellent produce and clever teaming of ingredients turned even seemingly simple dishes/canapés into ones that were full of intricate textures and flavours that came together seamlessly. And let's not forget gobsmackingly delicious.
From the selection of canapés served on the evening, the smoked wallaby, featuring a silky and tender blend of wallaby on top of a delicate black rice crisp, left quite an impression. Not just for visual aesthetics as the unveiling of the wallaby came with a billow of smoke wafting out from underneath a cloche, the rich aromas imparted by the smokiness really upped the overall flavour. It seems everyone else also loved the dish as attempts to hunt down a second (and probably even a third) wallaby canapé were dashed.
The oohs and aaahs were aplenty as dessert (with some good ol' liquid nitrogen action) came together right before our eyes. The flavours captured in the dessert (sweet with a down-to-earth hint of bitterness and fragrant herbaceous aromas) were absolutely sensational and incredibly balanced, serving well as both a sweet and palate cleanser.
The merriment extended beyond the launch of the dining space to Scott Pickett's announcement of a new Estelle Deli and Rotisserie opening at the Queen Vic Market later this month. Take home jars of his blood orange marmalade served as a tasty preview for the deli, which I used to whip up a quick and tasty brekky one morning, comprising of sourdough toast, ricotta and a generous smear of marmalade.
Following the event, there are two things that were for certain... A return visit to Estelle Bistro is a must. And so is a visit to the deli/rotisserie once they open. Watch this space.
243 High St,
Northcote, Victoria, 3070.
(03) 9489 4609
Disclosure: I attended the launch event courtesy of Estelle Bistro and Reymond Communications.