ESTELLE BY SCOTT PICKETT
245 HIGH ST, NORTHCOTE 9489 4609 ESTELLEBYSP.COM Don’t let the artfully lit, oh-so-melbourne, sleek black-and-slate surrounds fool you. Between an opening mouthful of wallaby so smoky it could have hopped through a bushfire on its way to the plate, to a deconstructed pavlova with kiwiberries, a meal at Scott Pickett’s flagship fine diner is clever, refined, considered, but most of all, fun.
That’s not to say every moment, every mouthful hasn’t been carefully choreographed. Under head chef Steve Nairn’s guiding hand, a newfound love of vegetables – buttery baby corn smoked over binchotan, and tiny potato pearls with pops of salmon roe – brightens the pan-fried sweetbreads that remain a staple on a Pickett menu.
Blushing Macedon duck comes complete with a granola of nuts and a rainbow of beetroots, with a tart of its heart served alongside; while local Maidenii vermouth creates an inspired sauce for cured, smoked and pan-fried rockling.
A wine list of depth with delicious mid-range drinking (and serious big hitters) served by one of the city’s best sommeliers in James Dossan completes a picture of Melbourne dining on Northcote’s High Street that’s in ultra-hd. ■ Must-eat dish Baby corn ■ Cuisine Contemporary ■ Chefs Scott Pickett & Steve Nairn ■ Price $$$$ ■ Bookings Yes ■ Open Dinner Tue-sat ■ Instagram @estellebysp