Walking into Ester, deep in Sydney’s Chippendale neighborhood, your shoulders drop about five inches—it’s that relaxing. All the surfaces are smooth and gently curving, all the materials—polished stone and wood—are natural. The space smells smoky and earthy, kind of like a forest, which can be attributed to the massive wood-fired oven that is Ester’s grand centerpiece. And then comes the food, unfussy and distinctly seasonal. If you’ve never had oysters cooked in a wood fire, you should—and you should do it here. The wine list is one of Sydney’s most exciting and unusual, full of the small, boutique vineyards around the world you’ve never heard of. Come hungry and come curious.

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