Looking back at my posts there’s been an awful lot of smut. I don’t think there’s been a single post yet where the mention of alcohol hasn’t been present. In my previous post there may have even been a smutty, sexual innuendo filled call regarding a certain taco dish, so for this post I’m going high brow if for no other reason than the venue being Sepia (Google it to see awards/ plaudits its amassed in its short lifespan – though seeing as you’re most likely a foodie, you probably already know). Now I didn’t intend for my second post in a row to be about a hatted restaurant, – I’m just not that kind of guy – but in my circles I’m right in the thick of birthday season (I think I had 3 or 4 birthdays this past weekend… Do you have any idea how brutal this is on the wallet?).
Sometimes I have this ability to just talk my mouth off, not knowing when to stop and then inadvertently offend whoever it is I may be speaking too so today I’m going to try and keep the words to a minimum in order to increase my chances of getting through this one clean.
So on to the food. We enter the restaurant and I’m instantly reminded of New York. I’ve never been to New York but I’ve seen it in movies and in my mind this is what it would look like. The only thing missing is a Christian Bale look alike waxing lyrical about the genius that is Phil Collins. We’re seated in a tucked away spot beneath what looks like a staircase, it’s a cosy spot and a nice area to start boozing the night away (but that’s not what we’re here for).
We go for the 4 course spring set menu – the degustation looks great and at $150 per person is really quite affordable at this level of dining – but seeing as there’s a couple of shellfish items on the menu and I’m not that brave yet we give it a miss.
I love free bread. I love butter. This butter has been whipped and I’m reminded of McDonalds’ Big Breakfast, getting the butter and spreading it on my hash browns (don’t tell me you haven’t tried this).
The seared bonito has a strong ‘flavour of the sea’ with a hint of smokiness and in some ways reminds me of a really good piece of smoked salmon. The grated daikon makes this dish really clean and I’m off to a refreshing start to the evening.
The scallops look good, the presentation of the nori is amazing. I didn’t get a chance to taste them but I’m assured theyre ‘mmm mmhhmm mhhmmm’.
I must say I’m not a huge fan of the Tuna tartare. There’s a strong presence of a ‘sprouting caviar lentils’, and not being big on sprouts in general I’m overwhelmed by it. The tuna itself is glorious and I’m left annoyed at myself for mixing everything in.
Once again I didn’t get to try the risotto, but once again I’m told ‘mmmmm, oh yeah, mhhmmm, gooood’.
The tenderloin is incredible. The beef is so tender and once again I’m impressed with the nori presentation. There’s a strong miso flavour to the accompaniments without it being overpowering and I’m left with the realisation that this is probably one of the best ‘steak’ dishes I’ve ever had.
I take a stab at the whiting with my dining partner finally agreeing to share. The fish has been cooked to perfection and there’s an almost creamy flavour to it. I can’t really say much else, I had less than a spoonful.
We both go for the Chocolate forest and I’m glad we haven’t alternated on this one as this is a total OMG moment (I think I know what Usher Raymond was singing about now). I know it’s good as I like to end a meal on savoury, but after this I’m quite happy not eating anything else. Texturally this is amazing, and it actually feels as though we’re spooning mouthfuls of dirt…. Sweet delicious dirt.
I end the evening with a short stroll around Darling Harbour with no thoughts of a cheeky post dinner burger or pie. I’m left satisfied with what I feel is the best dining experience I’ve ever had, without a care in the world and almost instantly I find myself at bottle shop, bottles of wine in hand and handing over my keycard to the teller.
201 Sussex Street, Sydney
(02) 9283 1990