Estragon Restaurant

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22-28 Jellicoe Road,

09 527 5080

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Review byCandice Reed15/03/2009

4 out of 5 stars

I feel like a giggling school girl about to share a big exciting secret that everyone should know about. Ready? Estragon French and Italian Restaurant is good, really really good.

Don’t believe me? Well, I challenge any doubters to find out for themselves.

Estragon opened its doors tucked in behind Panmure’s New World in Jellicoe Court back in late 2006 and for many the ambiguous location has prevented it from being truly discovered. It wasn’t until I took a wrong turn out of the supermarket one day that I found the place and poked my head in to see what was inside. I immediately made a mental note to return out of curiosity and wasn’t disappointed.

The French and Italian menu options are easily explained. In the kitchen an Italian chef with more than 25 years experience is complimented by an experienced French chef with more than seven years international exposure.

Estragon occupies a large space, which can sometimes feel a little too large if you happen to be the only people eating in. Noise can seem to bounce off the wooden floors, high ceiling and evenly spaced wall hangings. Estragon also caters for large private functions and if you happen to dine on a night when a group booking is expected the noise levels reverberating from these groups can also impact on your experience. But it will take nothing away from the exquisite taste experience. I’ve eaten here a few times, both with a group and with my partner, and never heard a complaint which is rare when there are so many dishes coming from the kitchen. Usually there is at least one meal that doesn’t stack up.

On the latest occasion I ordered the lamb rack forestier - oven roasted rack of lamb with mushrooms, Garlic, Beans, onions, carrots, and potatoes ($26) - while my partner had no hesitation ordering the boeuf bourguigon - a classic beef stew marinated overnight cooked in red wine with bacon, onion and carrot accompanied with vegetables ($24).

Having eaten here before and been so impressed my anticipation grew with each passing minute. The last time I frequented Estragon I had ordered pork marsalla - sliced pork cooked with mushroom finished marsalla wine served with vegetables ($23) off the Italian side of the menu and was left reliving the meal for nights to come.

My lamb rack left the same impression. The meat was cooked to perfection, with more than enough hearty red wine gravy to lash over the vegetables. The food here is authentic and extremely homely, but like nothing I could ever replicate on my own.

Perhaps the best thing about Estragon is the modest price tag which goes with it. It’s easy to have entre, main and dessert without breaking the budget. And although the restaurant is fully licensed, there is a BYO wine policy which adds to the appeal.

Still not convinced Estragon is worth checking out? Then how about this, the crème brulee is simply to die for. It’s fair to say I’ve sampled a few crème brulees in my time and Estragon’s is easily in the top three and with an $8 price tag you’d be a fool not to at least try it.

My advice, locate Estragon (tucked in behind New World remember?) and taste test it for yourself.

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