46-52 Meagher St, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia

Since bursting on to the scene in 2013, this Chippendale hotspot has multiplied its loyal fans along with its awards—chef Mat Lindsay was even named Australian Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Chef of the Year. Surrounded by stucco archways and strung with pendant lights, the dining room provides a subtle backdrop to dishes that are rustic yet refreshing. The wood-fired oven is put to good use, sometimes in surprising ways, like for charring cauliflower or lightly roasting rock oysters to warm, gooey perfection. There are also beautifully baked meats and breads, and a baby blood sausage “sanga” for those craving comfort food. For dessert, order the burnt pavlova, a classic meringue that takes a trip through the flames before being dusted in elderflowers.

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“Ester is right around the corner from my restaurant in Chippendale. Mat Lindsay’s food—roasted oysters, king prawn with capers, dry aged steak on the bone—is some of the most delicious in Sydney,” says Sydney-based chef Clayton Wells. “And it’s a great spot for a long Sunday lunch.”

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