For a very special occasion!

Food: 9.5/10
Drinks: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Value for Money: 8/10

I had a wonderful evening at Sepia. It was the best dining experience I’ve had in a while and I can only approve the title of restaurant of the year. Despite being in the Darling Park business complex, the restaurant looks elegant and the atmosphere is relatively romantic. I was surprised by the unpretentiousness of the place. The staff were warm, engaging and extremely attentive. So much so that, when one of us dropped a serviette on the floor, they replaced it!

We had the 12 -dishes degustation menu and overall the food was fantastic. We were first served an appetizer entitled “Salt & vinegar potato starch, sansho pepper”. Starch!?! It was hard to imagine how it was actually going to look like and the result was nothing short of stunning:

It tasted like an enhanced version of salt and vinegar chips. When fine dining, I expect the unexpected, so our dinner was off to a good start despite our greasy fingers!

The poached Hiramasa kingfish with sansho pepper, green tomato and lemon verbena looked more exciting than it tasted. Of all dishes, it impressed me the least. Not that it wasn’t tasty, but it didn’t have the oomph of the other dishes.

“Soy glazed smoked eel, puffed buckwheat, sea urchin cream, hijiki seawead, nori and orange” would not necessarily sound attractive to everyone…but it was stunning.

And the dessert! It was simply the best I have had for a very long time. The “chocolate forest” tasted as good and sophisticated as it looked:

Of all the dishes, these last two blew my mind. Not only could the numerous components be tasted individually, but they were also marrying exceptionally well. The play on textures was equally brilliant and brought these dishes to another level of sophistication.

The matching wines were nice, however I don’t think that the food/wine match was to the standard of everything else that night. The fact that the tasting menu changes every Saturday might make the wine matching task more arduous. That said, the sommelier did a fantastic job describing the origin, flavours and matching characteristics of the wines. It is great to be around people displaying such enthousiasm and love of their work. The wine which will stick to my memory for years to come was actually a sake – Kano ‘Jyokigen’ Junmai-Ginko Sake from Ishikawa, Japan. The best I’ve had.

Practical Information

  • 2012 SMH Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year
  • Sepia’s “Japanese Stones” dessert was No 1 on Terry Durack’s Top 20 Dishes of 2011
  • Saturday dinner – Seasonal large degustation menu only
  • Saturday lunch  – Seasonal small and large degustation menus
  • Tuesday to Friday dinner and Friday lunch – choice of a la carte, seasonal 4 course, or degustation menu
  • Private dining options available
  • Parking available in the building

Contact Details

Sepia – 201 Sussex Street, Sydney 2000 –

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