On a recent visit to Northcote for lunch with a friend we looked in the window of The Estelle, but decided on lunch at Palomino across the road. A few days later, I found myself entertaining another friend in the same area, and this time I could not resist trying somewhere new. Dinner has already been admirably reviewed by Vetti live in Northcote, and breakfast by Juliette’s food spot, but I hope I have done the first lunch review!
The striking tiled walls use a pink / white / grey / black colour scheme familiar to me from art deco era bathrooms. This palette is reflected in the crockery, which in a shock to established inner north aesthetics is not odd pieces from opp shops but is a matching set! Outrageous.
The food is most impressive, and approaches that at Gigibaba in Collingwood in terms of quality, intensity of flavour and exquisite presentation. We ordered three dishes to share – two salads and one meat dish. From the top down: the chick pea and sweet potato salad, crispy skin duck with roast carrots and the beetroot and goat’s cheese salad.
Like Gigibaba, the serves are modest for the price, but the magical intensity of the flavours makes eating these dishes a special experience. The Estelle is not an average High St cafe. I left most impressed and satisfied by my meal, which was completed by a wonderful coffee. Depending on your budget, The Estelle may be an everyday luxury or an occasional treat, but it is definitely a treat as you can see from the before and after shots below.