On a roll with the exclusive “degustation only” restaurants. We visited Lume in December then six penny in Sydney and now ESP by Scott Pickett. We’ve been to their sister restaurant Estelle next door ages ago but we were definitely looking forward to this pre “Valentines” dinner. Situated in the busy hippy part of Northcote; it boasts other nice eateries like Merricote, Barry etc. I like the layout of this restaurant, theres tables and then there’s a bar area where you can see how the kitchen runs. It’s nicely done as the kitchen as a good view of what’s going on.
IK booked this place for me. Originally we wanted to invite friends for my big * 0 but they were fully booked. We had to finish by 8 pm tonight.
I also looked at the wine list and thought I’d go for a wine pairing instead. (sort of regretted after actually). So here we go.
Scott was barking orders at times and I like it as it really shows how dedicated you are as a chef and managing the restaurant.
Does this remind you of Baker’s Delight? Brings back the school days when you bring one of these for lunch. Those days are no more fortunately.
Don’t think that needed butter, but here we are anyway. Presented on a “log” so to speak.
There were a few snacks to start with. All were meticulously presented. First up some smoked wallaby & black rice. Nice and crunchy. Presented on some “aussie bark”.
Loved these puffs with avocado inside. Definitely skill making these puffs. The cod roe was also delicious. Perfect starter to the night.
Roaming around you see Josh Pelham (Head Chef) and all the other chefs doing certain dishes. There is definitely order in the kitchen.
Had a Gosser Champagne to start off my day.
Lychee and Mint for IK.
A maidera for our next course.
I love the use of interesting ingredients like saltbush. Not too salty, very nice dish/soup.
Apparently the knife was made especially for ESP.
Started losing track of what wines I had. But i think this was a pino gris
Kingfish is almost a must in most restaurants nowadays. Very refreshing.
The Sommelier said this wine has much more depth of flavour and quite young.
Served by Josh the head chef; i had my eye on the bug when the chef was pan searing it with butter. Lovely foam and some chickpeas to go with it. tasty.
Definitely needed a red for the next course.
Probably my favourite dish tonight. Simple ingredients that goes so well together but well executed. There’s some crisps, duck and the sauce was just heaven.
Scott to the left and Josh to the right. A nice ambience to the restaurant.
A palate cleanser tomato soup (cold) and 2 tomatoes. Nice indeed.
3 desserts to finish. Firstly we had Olive oil crunch was in nitrogen and sprinkled on top. I loved this dessert.
Had a Stout with my dessert. At this point I didn’t think the wine pairing was that great as it seemed little compared to other degustation restaurants i’ve been to.
Also had another stout for this dish. Wasn’t as good as the other 2 dishes. Again maybe another type of dessert wine would have been better.
Sherbert Bombs. Reminds me when I used those spoons that came with the packet, and you put it in your mouth, the burst and sourness and sweetness that goes with it. IK loved this one.
I thought the food was well executed. I don’t mind a quick meal at times, and they timed it to perfection. I thought the wine pairing was not as worth as the cost of it ($130 additional). Should have given a few more esp during the dessert dishes. I loved our Scott interacts with his customers and asks which dish they like the most. Definitely good technique with the dishes and not overly complicated like Lume where I think they still have some fine tuning to do. Definitely need to come back again some time and maybe have more time to enjoy the food.
Rating : 15.5/20
Click here to their contact page to make a reservation.