Monday, October 30, 2017

Sepia Restaurant

Sweeping three hats consistently since 2012, I finally had the opportunity to dine at Sydney's Sepia.

sepia australias best restaurant

After its meteoric rise to fame since opening in 2009, Sepia had been on my radar for quite some time. Since announcing their closure and relocation to Melbourne 6 months ago, I decided I must visit before they shut their doors forever.

With my birthday around the corner I found the perfect opportunity to make that visit.

We arrived at 18:30 and was ushered to our seats for the first round of dinner service. After ordering a champagne cocktail (bubbles for celebrations!) our server told us the dinner was a "blind tasting" and we would be given a menu at the end of service to take home. Intrigued, we excitedly anticipated our first "mystery" dish. Five small plates materialised in front of me - saikou salmon, bonito, sweet shrimp, nori tuna, eggplant tofu - we were off to a good start.

sepia saikou salmon bonito sweet shrimp nori tuna eggplant tofu

A quaint dish decorated with edible blossoms, I savoured every bit of the egg yolk concealed inside its rich tuna skin. With just a hint of wasabi and soy sauce, it was the perfect combination.

sepia tuna egg wasabi white cheese

Our next course of spanner crab, tomato, brown butter emulsion turned into a performance when our server sprinkled sake vinegar jelly pea and horseradish powder onto the dish (if only I had been fast enough to capture the moment).

sepia spanner crab tomato brown butter emulsion sake vinegar jelly pea and horseradish

The next course was abalone, chicken skin, roast onion, sweet onion dashi and daikon. With a creamy foam covering half the dish I found it hard to recognise half of what I was eating but it didn't make me enjoy the dish any less.

sepia abalone chicken skin roast onion sweet onion dashi and daikon

This one was one of my favourite, I'm a big fan of sea urchin. With the addition of rolled egg, egg rice, nori and sobacha it was an explosion of taste and everything I expected it to be.

sepia sea urchin uni sobacha egg rice tamago dashimaki

The final appetiser dish was an interesting one - it looked like sushi and fatty tuna but actually was fried milk bread, smoked bone marrow, horseradish and topped with caviar. It was the perfect concoction of flavours and I only wish they had been a little more generous with the fried milk bread.

sepia fried milk bread smoked bone marrow caviar horseradish

Our first main course was my favourite out of the two. Grilled lamb breast, nameko mushroom, roasted garlic and miso emulsion buckwheat it was perfectly presented in a hemisphere of goodness.

sepia grilled lamb breast nameko mushroom roasted garlic and miso emulsion buckwheat

A bleeding red delectable masterpiece, the seared venison, nori, honina kabu, blackcurrant and beetroot was a feast for my eyes. Although I did prefer the previous main, the venision melted in my mouth and paired perfectly with its sweet condiments.

sepia seared venison, nori, honina kabu, blackcurrant and beetroot

Since we enjoyed our previous dishes so much we opted to include the optional cheese course. Aerated mountain man washed rind topped with apple and sobacha biscuit, it sounded fascinating (especially the aerated cheese). It definitely lived up to my expectations, the biscuit was a perfect combination with the mellow cheese and slightly sour apple.

sepia Aerated mountain man washed rind apple and sobacha biscuit

Our first dessert dish didn't quite stand out to me, but oh boy was I wrong. The jelly made from seven different types of citrus flavours and a scoop of sorbet really got my tastebuds firing. Moral of the story? Don't judge a dish by its presentation.

sepia citrus orange jelly and sorbet

Our final course was the classic spring chocolate forest. Famous on instagram, I patiently anticipated this course my entire meal. Just like a miniature forest capped with blackberry sorbet, every mouthful was simply breathtaking. Totally worth the wait.

sepia spring chocolate forest

Sadly it was time to say our goodbyes to our outstanding dining experience in Sepia, but not without a parting gift - our menu. Sepia offers more than just a meal, it is an entire journey starting with the friendly staff that greet you at the door right down to the precision required in plating every dish that I would very gladly return to (Melbourne trip next time?).

sepia menu

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