Recent – Dani Valent


Sometimes duck is just duck: bird on a plate. But when chef Joe Grbac is cooking duck it's a shrewd but tender honouring of produce, a showcase of flavour matches and a sensitive mastery of cooking techniques that ensure the bird is conversation-haltingly delicious.


There’s often a sweet spot in the life of a restaurant, a time around nine months to a year after opening, when it hums so hard it sings. The kinks have been ironed out, tweaks made, the kitchen and waiting teams finessed, and the restaurant becomes the place all involved want it to be. That’s Ramblr right now.

Estelle by Scott Pickett

Sometimes a restaurant’s trappings are so many layers of distraction. At ESP, they serve to shine an ever more focused light on the food. Yes, there’s crisp service and excellent, interesting wines. Yes, you’ll be cosseted in a gleaming, comfortable dining room replete with gorgeous furniture and tableware. And yes, these accoutrements are all profoundly enjoyable. What you don’t get is smoke and mirrors. This is a chef’s restaurant and the trappings are there to support the sublime efforts of the kitchen.

© Dani Valent 2023