Rachel Bajada falls head over heels in love with the food and ambience at Sepia in Sydney.
By Rachel Bajada
Have you ever caught yourself starring unabashedly at someone you just met who was so strikingly beautiful, you were almost searching to find a single imperfection, just to reassure yourself that sheer human perfection does not exist? Well that was kind of how I would describe my recent meal at Sepia.
A few months ago I escaped the cold of Paris’ minus 8 degree baguette queues and icy streets, happily swapping it for a bit of R&R with family and friends in Sydney, armed with a long list of exciting new Australian restaurants to check out.
Whilst living in one of the gastronomic capitals of the world for the last two years, I have always maintained that Australia boasts some of the best food and finest restaurants in the world. Coming home with a more refined palette, a taste for boundary-pushing creativity and a love of French cuisine, I had high expectations from the talent in my hometown, and I was so happy to not be disappointed – in fact, I am proud to say that out of all the incredible meals I have eaten in Michelin star restaurants and home kitchens across France, my meal at Sepia Sydney was totally up there on the “unforgettable meals” list. Sepia is a 3-hatted restaurant. I’m not sure why the Michelin star system never reached Australian shores but to be honest I don’t think it matters, since in Paris for example, a lot of the best emerging chefs are not on the Michelin system by choice, and are producing by far some of the best food.
My dining companion and I were subject to what I could only describe as a beautifully executed performance of senses during the 4-course degustation menu. We ordered opposite dishes and shared everything. Normally there is at least one dish that lets the team down. We didn’t find one. And the service was so good the staff were practically psychic. The wine list was an absolute field day, and matched so well to each dish that flavours and senses were elevated on a whole other level. “Would you like a sneaky top up, an extra course snuck in there for good measure, and perhaps a seat that’s more suited to your 5”2 stature?” Hell yes. God I love the service in this country. Sorry Paris, but no matter how damn good, sexy and elegant your food and restaurants are, the service only rarely meets up to the standards of us friendly Aussies. Ok maybe I’m bias, maybe it’s a cultural or language thing…
An English native, Martin picked up French techniques under Micheal Lorrain then worked with Marco Pierre White after which he became the head chef of Tetsuya’s – at the age of just 25. Sepia is the result of all those good things fused together- French technique, Japanese style, Nordic influence, matched with a supply of the best seafood in Sydney thanks to a partnership with Decosti’s seafood.
201 Sussex Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9283 1990
Lunch Tuesday to Friday from 12 noon
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm