Not having used our Entertainment book for awhile, we wanted to make the most of it before its soon expiry. I decided to choose a restaurant which was outside our usual vicinity of the CBD. Estivo, located on High Street Kew is named one of The Age's good food guide one hatted restaurant.
Upon our arrival, we were seated at the small bar while waiting for our table to be ready. The restaurant is small and intimidate, there is both an up and downstairs seating area with less than 10 tables on each floor. If a romantic date is what you are after, perhaps request a seat in the upstairs dining area.
The overall lighting was low but each table had a small tea candle, creating that perfectly romantic ambiance. The food at Estivo can be classified as modern Australian/ Italian. First serve was 2 pieces of complimentary sourdough with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. It was a good start to dinner and kept our hungry stomachs from grumbling while waiting for the mains.
For entree, we ordered softshell crab with spicy guacamole and creme fraiche. I was surprised at the size of the dish when it came out- it was a lot more generous than expected and was good size for sharing between two. The flavours of the dish was delightful and well balanced. The texture of the crab was crunchy and not at all oily, the meat was also tenderly cooked. The smoothness of the guacamole surprising complimented the crab well.
For the mains, S ordered the baby snapper with steam clams in Harissa infused broth. He really enjoyed the dish, especially the broth- the hint of spiciness from the Harissa balanced out the lightness of the baby snapper. The skin of the snapper was also perfectly crisp.
Apparently, Estivo's signature main is the roast marget of duck, onion and duck leg tart with spiced carrot puree- I decided to order this for my main. The dish did not disappoint at all, it is by far one of the better duck dishes I've tried. Even though the duck was cooked medium rare, it was tender and not chewy in texture. The sweetness of the caramelised onion and duck leg tart was also a highlight of the dish.
Although we were pretty full after our mains, we were easily convinced by the dessert menu.
For dessert, S was predictable and ordered the chocolate fondant. Ever since he tried the chocolate fondant at The Maze, it has been the only dessert he orders these days.
The fondant was rich and oozes with dark chocolate, although, it would have been better if it was served with a scope of ice cream instead of cream. My dessert was tiramisu trifle with waffle and fig. The flavours of the tiramisu was nice and the liquor not too intense, I devoured it down pretty quickly. I did find that both the waffle pastry and fig was a bit bland, perhaps it had been overpowered by the flavours of the tiramisu.
Service was good and attentive, the waiter checked on us during each course to see if we were enjoying our meals.
The overall bill for the night was just under $150 (for 1 entree, 2 mains, 2 desserts and a glass of wine). Having the Entertainment book card helped as the card offers a complimentary main. Entrees are around $15-20, mains $35-$38 and dessert $13-$18
It was a lovely night out, Estivo by far exceeded both our expectations. Would definitely recommend this restaurant and we look forward to coming back!
330 High Street
Kew VIC 3101
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