Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Sepia Restaurant and Wine Bar

With only a few days notice, the accommodating staff at Sepia managed to squeeze us in for our late booking. Located amongst the hustle and bustle of cars that is Sussex Street, the two hat Sepia Restaurant and Wine Bar offers a sanctuary that will port you to a different era. Reflecting its name, the dark sepia-toned d├ęcor recreates a sophisticated 1920s style bar with its vintage tiling and velvet lounges, sans the smoke. The great atmosphere of Sepia is further created through the dimmed lights and chattering of diners.

Tetsuya’s previous Executive Chef Martin Benn has seen the growth of his very own restaurant receive positive reviews since its inception. Their four course summer set menu, $90 pp, brings together their best dishes that combine eclectic textures and tastes with the freshest produce. From the amuse bouche right to our dessert, the experience showcases Benn’s Eurasian training and his clean style.

We start with the Scallop Sushi which mixes the perfect combination of flavours with the crusted scallop and velvety avocado cream. This was followed by the rich Queensland Spanner Crab and Buckwheat Risotto which was highly recommended by my partner’s head chef. The main course of Roast Scampi Tail and Poached Coral Trout was, in my opinion, lacking sensation and was undersized. In contrast, the pineapple jelly cleanser followed by their famed Chocolate Forrest Floor executed mastermind brilliance. This Sepia dessert follows in the gastronomic lines of Nomo’s Radish, Soil and Herbs and does not fail to satisfy. Each bite replicates the sound of a delicate foot fall in a leafy forest as the name suggests. The cherry sorbet cuts through the green tea moss, cherry brandy jelly, creams and chocolate crumbs, twigs and flakes while the frosted fennel adds the perfect garnish.

Chocolate Forrest Floor shot by Jennifer Soo

A minor downfall was the wait time between the four courses, it wouldn’t deter our return but sometimes five minutes can be five too long. On the plus however, the staff were quite attentive and knowledgeable. It’s a great fine dining experience and we would recommend Sepia.

Find them at 201 Sussex Street, Sydney. Phone them on 02 9283 1990 or visit

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