28 September 2012

est. Moët & Henschke with Lunch Promotion, CBD Sydney (3 Aug 2012)

Level 1, 252 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Fine dining with free wining

est. is one of those three hatted restaurants that seems very expensive unless you’re very rich. Entrees are nearly $40, mains hover around the mid $50 and desserts are all set at $28 but with a ‘Moët & Henschke with Lunch’ special promotion during August I thought it was a great opportunity to hit the a la carte menu. If you ordered two courses at $90 you’d receive two bottles of wine for free but the three courses at $110 with three bottles of wine included sounded like much better value and it was. My ordering strategy was to pick the most expensive dishes which came to $127 which meant I saved already $17. At first I thought we had the choose between Moët or Henschke but was informed during ordering we had a menu of 22 wines to choose from which was fantastic. With a hasty scan of the normal wine menu I applied the same ordering strategy of trying to choose the most expensive wines and ordered the N.V. Moët & Chandon ‘Brut Impérial’ ($145), 2009 Stonier ‘Reserve’ Chardonnay ($95) and 2008 Moulin De La Lagune Cabernet Blend Haut-Médoc ($130). These would have cost $370 but because of the promotion we got them for free — awesomeness. And they were really nice wines, especially the Cabernet Blend.

For entrée I ordered the Salad of spanner crab ($40) which had nice flavours that worked well together but had dish envy when I saw the Moreton Bay bug ($39) which I’d go for in hindsight. The Grilled white scallops ($39) was surprisingly quite a generous serving which I probably would have preferred as well. I was very happy with my main of Rangers valley angus beef fillet ($59) which was tender with good flavour. One of the diners thought it was ‘possibly the best steak they’d ever had’. It was very good although Fix St James also comes to mind for quality steaks as well. The Duck breast ($55) was nicely cooked with crisp skin, a decent portion size and a dish many thought they’d be happy to order next time. Serving sizes were quite generous overall but we managed to find our dessert stomach to push on for a sweet ending. All desserts were nicely presented and it was hard to pick a favourite. They all had dish components that we enjoyed so I’d recommend go with the one that appeals the most to you. Service was professional yet welcoming and down-to-earth. There was one time when we had to prompt service for our red wine with the mains but was no drama. The dining experience was well worth it with the promotion savings.

PROS: Nicely presented dishes, Quality ingredients and wines, Professional service including table dishes all served at the same time, Nice decor and ambience
CONS: You need to allow at least 2 hrs for a long lunch, Not a fan of the table supports which aren't an issue on the larger round tables near the front windows, Very expensive but promotional deal made it great value
MUST TRY: Moreton Bay bug, Rangers valley angus beef fillet, 2008 moulin de la lagune cabernet blend haut-médoc
VERDICT: Having three bottles of wine included for free made the dining experience very good value considering the quality of dishes, ambience and service — I'd be tempted to go again if repeated
n.v. moët & chandon ‘brut impérial’, épernay - france ($145, complimentary with deal)

2009 stonier ‘reserve’ chardonnay, mornington peninsula - victoria ($95, complimentary with deal

2008 moulin de la lagune cabernet blend haut-médoc, bordeaux – france ($130, complimentary with deal

Selection of promotion wines to choose from — my strategy was just to pick the most expensive ones which ended up being $370 worth

Complimentary bread

Grilled white scallops, pickled pear, winter purslane, foie gras, pedro ximenez - lentil vinaigrette ($39 + extra $10 4g truffle shavings on top)

Moreton Bay bug, cavolo nero, green peas, mini radish, young turnips, bonito flakes ($39)

Salad of spanner crab, jicama, lime, apple jelly, elderflower ajo blanco ($40)

Duck breast, grilled treviso, slow poached quince, duck jamon, fresh walnuts, crisp polenta ($55) 

Braised beef cheek, dijon mustard spätzle, fresh peas, trompettes de mort ($56 + extra $10 for truffle butter)

Rangers valley angus beef fillet, young leeks, bone marrow, morel mushrooms, nettle puree ($59)

That's one serious looking steak knife

Seasonal vegetables ($12)

Caramel poached pear, fennel, toasted hazelnuts, white coffee ice cream ($28)

Valrhona chocolate delice, confit orange puree, almond praline, yuzu ice cream ($28)

Pave of granny smith apples, vanilla cheesecake, rose – earl grey ice cream ($28)

Passionfruit souffle, passionfruit sorbet (20 minutes) ($28)

Petit fours — the est chocolate branded one is my favourite

Take away box available for bread if you simply can't let it go to waste

Bill $562 for five (4 diners x 3 courses, 1 diner x 2 courses) which included $370 worth of wine as part of the promotion

Shavings of truffle available

Nice decor and ambience

I wonder if they'd notice if I 'borrowed' one of these?

3 hats all the way

I was here — reflection shot of self

You know how I love these sort of table supports — NOT!

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Christine @ Cooking Crusade said...

Oh yes I heard about that promotion! Sounds like a great deal to add a bit of value to your visit. The food looks absolutely spectacular and I am so in love with their presentation - three hats seems very well deserved!

Richard Elliot said...

I love your ordering strategy of going for the most expensive of everything! ;-)

Three bottles of wine included for $110 per sounds like good value. I'm not sure I'd want to go back to the office after all that wine though...

tania@mykitchenstories.com.au said...

Looks great Simon. Wish Id gone now!!

Chompchomp said...

What a score! The food looks exquisite. The colour of the beef is absolutely stunning. I have a bout of your food envy but for all the dishes not just the bugs!

Amanda@Chewtown said...

Oh my goodness... what a deal. I'm pleased with your ordering strategy as it is the exact same one I would have employed had I been in the same situation!

Simon Leong said...

hi christine, definitely made it worth while with the promotion. saved a bundle.

hi richard, when in doubt go for the most expensive I think hehe and as you say can be a challenge heading back to the office. preferably would have taken the rest of the day off as it's a long lunch.

hi tania, hopefully they'll do the deal again.

hi chompchomp, i'd do it again if they had a similar deal on

hi amanda, it's a good strategy to get your monies worth that's for sure.

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