‘ Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars.
Let me see what spring is like on, a-Jupiter and Mars ‘
Though placed right on the busy Juhu Tara road, Estella is definitely a hidden treasure. As we walked inside the dim light restaurant onto the beach deck, Frank Sinatara sang to us. Facing a comparatively secluded part of the Juhu beach stretch with just strung fairy lights between you and the starry night sky, Estella’s deck is a romantic’s rhapsody. With the cool sea breeze caressing our hair, for a while we forgot why we were there !
Estella( Translating to Star in Old French ) promises its patrons a tasty insight into the well known Australian cuisine ( MasterChef Australia Zindabad ). On our visit, we also found some French influence in their menu too.
We began our meal with a lentil, Zatar Dust & Parsley broth accompanied by assorted breads ( Cheese & saffron roll, flat bread with sumac & Zatar dust, Foccacia with black olives and sundried tomatoes, Cheese & olive straws ) along with helping of regular & herbed butter . The soup, though slightly unusual on flavour, was a perfect accompaniment to the bread basket. Now each of the breads we were presented with had a distinct and memorable flavour that we devoured in utter gluttony.
Double Baked Goat Cheese Soufflé with Braised Leek Confit with Cranberry Pickle with aged Parmesan Cheese, apple walnut & mustard sauce.
The name of this dish spelt out its French influence. Soufflés, said to have originated in early eighteenth century France, are almost always associated with sweet flavours. We were glad to see a Cheesy savoury soufflé on the table. The garnish was pretty interesting with a chilli, rose petal, micro greens, leek, cheesy moat, walnut, apple, flowers which they source from Kashmir… well yes there was a lot going on. This dish had a primary rich, umami taste with bursts of different flavours in each bite. Some of our favourite flavours were the cheesiness ( but of course), sweet & earthy crunch from the walnuts & apple, and most importantly the Sweet-Sour cranberry pickle lathered on the crown of the soufflé. Our meal started on an amazing note.
Pistachio Crusted Lebanese Lamb Koftas
Had Chef Aniket made this for Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, we would have never had Galouti kebabs ! Another very pretty floral & green garnish decorated four pretty looking skewers. Pop the skewers in our mouth and the kebabs melt on contact giving your taste buds a burst of flavours primarily Lebanese. The kebabs has two textures, soft owing to the minced meat & a little crunch because of the crushed pistachio. The kebabs also come with an elder-flower yogurt dressing that adds some tangy, floral notes.
Grilled Tasmanian Scallops
The delicate nature of the scallop muscle keeps many restaurants away from this treasure of the sea. The scallops, cooked to perfection, sat amidst a moat of pureed cauliflower florets & saltly sweet miso honey cream, garnished with a bitter- sweet carrot foam all placed upon a clam shell. The flavours didn’t over power the fish even a bit and blended along as you chewed.We loved the velvety textures.
Grilled Hunter Valley Tenderloin
Known for varietals such as Semillon and Shiraz, Hunter Valley (Sydney ) is home to a number of wineries. Their meat too is quite renowned. Our juicy bits of Tenderloin ( Medium – Well Done ) sat on a crispy – soft of Potato Rosti bed with sautéed garlic spinach. The crown of the dish, an onion ring & a parmesan crisp, was quite unusual … but we loved the crunch. The cognac beef pepper reduction on its own was quite exciting with its rich nutty, spicy, vanilla & caramel notes. However, it didn’t agree with our taste buds when it came to adding it to our meat. On its own, the elements of the dish were quite exciting but they didn’t blend well for us.
Wild Mushroom, Chive & Truffle Risotto with Smoked Goat Cheese
An arty presentation where bits of the risottos elements were scattered atop as garnish. The creamy Arborio rice with cheesy, sour, earthy notes got its flavours from the pungent truffles tart goat cheese & earthy notes from the mushrooms, pine nuts & Edamame. The dish is very rich and very filling.
Plum & frangipane Tart
Fluffy Flaky pasty with a creamy-almond frangipane filling, sour plum slices & a scoop of cold churned vanilla ice cream. This textural-tangy delight, though delicious, gets quite tedious to eat.
Banana and Caramel Pafait
Unless you are a fan of rich fruity flavours, you may not enjoy this one. The effort put into the dessert was evident from the presentation & we thought twice before disturbing the beautiful plating. The light caramel chocolate ring was balanced in place by the in house churned French press coffee softy. Beside it, tucked inside a dark chocolate cigar was the banana caramel Pafait that say upon a kiwi fruit marmalade fresh cut kiwi. All this garnished with pieces of chocolate & edible flowers. The parfait was very creamy with a prominent banana flavour ( mildy sweet ) that went quite well with the piquant flavours of the kiwi. The coffee softy was our favourite on the plate as well as played the part of the bonding agent of dish.
Belgian Chocolate Fondant
Watching the rich toffee sauce pour out of the warm chocolate fondant, our taste buds jumped with joy! Served with a churned peanut butter ice cream, a golden chilly caramel crackle & a pinch of Himalayan salt, a bite into this dessert was a happy reminder of what our blogger friends were raving about. A must have. We thank Chef Aniket for being a wonderful host & for all the culinary delights we got to sample. A special mention to Joita who just like her name added a lot of joy to our evening with her bubbly personality and warm smile… and a hello to Prakash as well. For a picturesque experience by the beach full of culinary delights, we hope you visit Estella soon. For updates : www.facebook.com/EverythingOnAPlate To see our rating on Zomato : https://www.zomato.com/everythingonaplate