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Photograph: Daniel Boud

One of Sydney's grandest fine diners is pulling up stumps
Written by
Matty Hirsch

The slow, steady and apparent “death of fine dining” has been making headlines for a few years now, and come Christmas one more top-end Sydney restaurant will be shutting up shop for good.

After 19 years in the game, Est is set to serve its last supper on Saturday, December 21. Merivale’s most highly decorated restaurant earned its lauded reputation thanks largely to the work of legendary head chef Peter Doyle, who announced his retirement in April of 2018.

The plush-carpeted, high-ceilinged, chandelier-lit dining room is widely considered to be one of the city’s grandest, and in her 2016 Time Out review, Myffy Rigby described the restaurant as “the sort of place you'd find on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where twin set-clad matriarchs would pick at a few leaves and swill Champagne while well-fed hedge-funders congratulated themselves over a bottle of Bordeaux.”

Current head chef Jacob Davey and his kitchen brigade will be moving across to assist in the opening of the hotly anticipated middle level at Coogee Pavilion, and while there’s been no formal word on what the Est space will become, Merivale head honcho Justin Hemmes has announced that a big renovation is on the cards, with a possible reopening at the end of 2020. Stay tuned.

Down to fine-dine on a budget? Check out our list of cheap hacks at fancy spots in Sydney.

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