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Sepia [Sydney] - exceptional food with a Tetsuya's pedigree

PhilD Jul 10, 2010 03:52 PM

Sepia is a restaurant that sits in a space below the office buildings in Darling Park so not an obvious fine dining location. However, it is nice dark, cosy space, with Spanish art deco touches and the welcome is wonderfully warm.

On Saturday nights they only offer a degustation menu at $130 (plus $70 with wine). We hadn’t done our research so this was a slight surprise, but as the menu looked so good it didn’t hold us back. We enjoyed:

- Amuse Bouche of marinated bonito, sesame and wasabi leaf

- Yellow fin tuna, warm dashi custard, Tasmanian wasabi jelly, popped pork, nori salt and wild green elk (a leaf)

- Roasted deep sea scallop, miso and chickpeas, toasted grains, barley milk and borage flowers

- Queensland spanner crab and buckwheat risotto, mustard butter, and shellfish essence.

- Butter poached flat head, WA marron, mushroom and dashi consomme, Tasmanian truffle, local flowers.

- Roasted loin of Victorian lamb, roasted witlof, basil puree, pickled walnuts, olive crumbs, crisp lamb belly and winter purslane

- Poached pasture fed angus fillet, braised short rib, buffalo milk tofu, rosemary and quinoa

- Mini “weiss” bar

- The chocolate forest floor, soft chocolate, lavender cream, sour cherry sorbet and licorice

- Coffee and petit fours

All the dishes are superb, not a dud amongst them. The cooking is a really good example of the marriage of French and Japanese food without getting lost in fusion confusion. Great flavours, good presentation and overall a well structured (and filling) meal. It is pretty much cutting edge food that shows off Martin Benn’s heritage (Tetsuya’s ex-head chef), and the talent of Mitchell Orr who won the 2010 “Josephine Pignolet” best young chef of the year.

A couple of gripes: service was excellent throughout, however the first three courses took an age to arrive from the kitchen, so don’t go if you are in impatient. Also the wine list, whilst good, is pretty expensive with some hefty mark-ups and thus not a lot (of interest) below the $70 mark.

But all in all, I highly recommend a visit to anyone looking for the best of Sydney food.

  1. kersizm Jul 10, 2010 04:36 PM

    Thanks PhilD, sounds really interesting. Must try it the next time I am in Sydney.

    Has it been open very long?

    1. m
      mr_gimlet Jul 10, 2010 11:58 PM

      Ahead of the Masterchef crowds?

      3 Replies
      1. re: mr_gimlet
        PhilD Jul 11, 2010 01:56 AM

        Maybe, but you already need to book a few weeks out as it fills up. No doubt Mitchell will pull in a few TV fans.

        I think it has been open for just under 12 months and it is definitely firing on all cylinders.

        1. re: PhilD
          m
          mikey8811 Jul 11, 2010 10:58 PM

          I had a mate who went a la carte and his complaint was that the serves were small. A sweetbread course was literally one small sweetbread...

          1. re: mikey8811
            PhilD Jul 12, 2010 12:44 AM

            Tricky to comment on the ALC portion size as it is DG only on Saturdays. However, I do have a big appetite and I had no complaints about the amount of food, OK each portion was small but they added up.

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