Category Archives: Sydney, NSW

Remarkable dishes at Sepia

Was in Sydney for a weekend trip to celebrate a friends birthday and the celebration dinner was held at Sepia.  Quite a prestigious little place, restaurant of the year and three hats.  Had the degustation with matching wine, and in hindsight, each dish was amazingly complex.  And the degustation was very well harmonised and built up with each course.

The dinner started with a delicate little dish: “udon, smoked roe, tomato“.

Udon, smoked roe, tomato

Sashimi Yellow Fin tuna, Jamon Iberico, apple, daikon, white sesame cucumber and sake, wasabi” was texturally interesting.


Winning dish of the night:  “sashimi of bonito, flavours of roasted chicken, umeboshi, upland cress, green tea, nori“.  Maybe dish of the year.  The sashimi is topped by crispy chicken skin, and the cream at the centre of the plate taste like the best roast chicken in the world.


Yabby, seaweed puree, ginger, shellfish and blood orange emulsion, sorrel“:  Sweet yabby in a thick emulsion… crazy textures, with a complex taste.


Glazed smoked fresh water eel, sushi rice, shiitake mushroom, garlic emulsion, green apple, pickled aka seaweed“:  taste like an upmarket version of eel sushi!


Chargrilled wagyu rump, sea urchin and wasabi butter, garlic chive mustard leaves, ponzu“:  this was amazing.  Salty tasty butter with a beautiful piece of meat.


Sansho seared Mandagery Creek venison, beetroot butter, horseradish chestnut mushroom“:  Pretty as a picture, and great tasting.


Palate cleanser:  “Meyer lemon butter, ginger bread crumb, sheep yoghurt sorbet, fennel, olive“.


Gorgeous “strawberry and yuzu bomb” dessert – was like a surprise with each bite.


“Winter chocolate forest” Soft chocolate, hazelnut and almond, orange and thyme cream, sour cherry sorbet cocoa brandy jellies, green tea, licorice, chocolate twigs:  Complicated and yummy dessert.


Food was beautiful, service was good (but could be better) although perhaps looking after such a big party is challenging.   We had a group of 14, and dinner took about 6 hours.  Service was good, but there were a few hiccups.  For example, were were given bread between the third and fourth course (which had a significant wait).

Would I recommend Sepia?  Yes, not only was the food excellent, there were some really clever elements to it (fish and roast chicken!).  I look back at the experience and think that there were so many dimensions (lenses!) to each dish – texture, taste, colour, smell.  Quite remarkable.

For more info and reviews:
Sepia on Urbanspoon

Whisked away to Sydney…

I am a lucky girl indeed, to be flown up to Sydney for my birthday to dine at Guillaume at Bennelong.   I do love the French.

We stayed at the Hilton Sydney, which is a favorite of mine.   I love the minimalist rooms, the location and the general aesthetic of the hotel.  Our room was upgraded, and it included a television in the bath!

Finding Guillaume was a tad tricky.  Between the Japanese tourist, the harbour bridge, and the Opera House, it was not easy spotting the signs and entrance to the restaurant.  However, when we did eventually find it, we were promptly ushered to our table with stunning views of the bridge.

Amuse bouche was a tuna tartare, which was buttery in texture and melts in your mouth.  The tuna was housed in a crunch cone, which added a lovely crunch to it.

The first course was a delightful salmon sashimi, to which my partner commented “they made cold fish taste good”.  My opinion was that it was delicious, but perhaps a bit too many peripherals.  As Coco Chanel said, when you walk out of the house, take one accessory off!

Next up we had a “Royale of Asparagus”, which was perfect!  Sprinkling of crab meat atop asparagus pieces, and custard…  perfect flavour, texture and balance.

The token scallops on cauliflower puree was next, which in my opinion was executed beautifully, however, it’s a dish that’s been done lots before and therefore perfection is expected.

The next dish, was the surprise star of the night.  John Dory with carrots.  It was cooked perfectly, and tasted amazing.  Loved that the dish had 3 different types of carrots.

Last but not least, comes the meat.  I hate to say, but I was terribly disappointed with the duck dish.  I adore duck and pinot noir, but this dish did not do anything for me.   I was so excited about the duck dish, that I didn’t even take a photo!  I so desperately want to love it…  Redemption came in the form of wagyu.  The final dish, 10 grams of wagyu packed a serious punch.  The mushrooms and mash were to die for.

Last but not least, came dessert in the form of a passionfruit souffle.   Tasty and light, a great ending to a great dinner.

No visit to Sydney would be complete without a visit to Adriano Zumbo’s Patisserie.  I think the pictures below speak for themselves…

 (25 Feb – 28 Feb 2011)

More info & reviews on Guillaume at Bennelong:
Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon

More info & reviews on Adriano Zumbo:
Adriano Zumbo on Urbanspoon