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Archive for September, 2011

Sepia Restaurant & Wine Bar

Hai. Do you still remember me?

Just like the last time, “I can’t believe it’s been awhile since the last post.” And I have to say that again, but this time, a year later! Sometimes life takes different turns on its own, and you just simply need to go with it, right? That’s pretty much what it was.

But you know what, I’ve got something else to confess. The Japanese double post that is. It’s very flattering to have gotten many requests from Japanese readers to add Japanese translation, which in fact I have started. But it’s just damn hard for me to keep it up simply because I myself can’t even feel the same *vibe* from written Japanese… So that’s the huge reason for the long overdue neglect. Oh well.

Anyways. Now that I’m back blogging again, I’ll just wait and see if Betty the hungry girl would keep her promise – “I’ll get back on blogging if you did” ;p

So the first post after a year of absence is Sepia. I have quite alot of back logs from the past eating occasions, but this is relatively recent. And just as I was thinking of posting this, a good news came in. Sepia won Restaurant of the year. Woohoooooo, congratulations!

You must have read other posts on Sepia like I have. I have to say they definitely live up to their good reputations – the fantastic dishes with eye-opening creativity and attentive, friendly and knowledgeable staff. And that’s why I chose Sepia for this special celebratory dinner with Tomo.

Tomo changes into his fine-dinning cloth. Looking sharp’n’slick? Yeah, until this was revealed.

I’m just saying I wasn’t the only fat one here. And this is even before the dinner, just so you know. ;p

Arrived and greeted by the staff, we seated at our table and went through the menu quickly. As I Looked around other tables, I already spotted some interesting dishes on other tables. I assumed those were from a la carte menu, but we went for degustation menu ($150/pp) this time.

Optional starter dish – oyster

I cannot eat oysters after a bad food poisoning experience, so only Tomo gets this. *sucking finger*

Amuse bouche – Hiramasa king fish

Beautifully seasoned Hiramasa King Fish – I don’t know what it is about the fish, but you can’t fail me with Hiramasa king fish. We both enjoyed the Japanese influence of the dish.

“Scallop Sushi”Nori rolled scallop, pickled ginger, puffed sushi rice, avocado cream

Looking at the menu, I was wondering about the quotation marks and here’s why. The dish visually resembles essential elements of sushi – The pink (Gari: Pickled ginger that’s always comes on the side), White (Sushi rice & scallop), Black (seaweed paper) and Green (Wasabi) I guess this is something you would need to actually taste the dish to get it, but the combination of these flavour and visual elements literally conjures up a real sushi. It’s like eating actual sushi with your eyes and mouth at the same time. Very interesting.

Tartare of yellow fin tuna
warm leek cream, poached egg yolk, soy and wasabi, sprouting caviar lentils, amaranth grain

I should’ve taken this picture differently so the yummy looking poached egg yolk in the middle! This was soooo flavoursome and I loved the texture of it as well. Soft smooth texture of tuna, leek cream and egg yolk against crunchy sprouts and amaranth grains. I wanted another plate of this.

Queensland spanner crab and buckwheat risotto, mustard butter, shellfish essence

Oh how I loved this – it’s just packed with flavour! The form on the top was full of umami from shellfish, and it creates absolutely amazing flavour when mixed with the risotto underneath as recommended.

Scampi & Cod fish with fennel and scampi cream

You know, this was also a great dish, but I guess I was loving the risotto so much that it didn’t strike us too impressive, to be honest.

Angus beef sirloin with Nameko mushroom and miso sauce

The first meat dish! There’s no explanation needed for the angus beef, right? It was visually screaming that it was perfectly cooked and seasoned. I was kind of intrigued by the Nameko mushroom on the side. Sticky & slimy mushroom that is in which I never had thought of putting on the dish along with meat. But it goes really good with all other elements on the dish. And the amazing tenderness of the beef just makes this dish perfect.

Cocoa and sansho seared Mandagery creek venison, baby beetroots, rhubarb, chocolate, beetroot and boudin noir crumb

Again, this dish was also great but the previous dish was so good that this appeared less impressive compared to the angus beef. But the interesting part was the boudin noir crumb. It sort of added bitterness/smokiness to the venison, I wonder if that’s because the boudin noir had been smoked?? Or the cocoa & sansho that is?

Blue and mascarpone cheese with macadamia granita (Optional dish)

This is another optional dish. I always love discovering a new combination to go with blue cheese, and this is something new I’d try. The dish has sort of half savoury half dessert feel to it.

Pre-dessert: Buttermilk, mint jelly and Japanese pumpkin granita

As a palate cleanser. Sourness of buttermilk and chilly granita really cut through the richness of previous dish, and we were so ready for the next dish to come.

“Chocolate Forest”
Soft chocolate, chestnut, elderflower cream, blackberry sorbet, blackberry candy, green tea, licorice, chocolate twigs, crystallised lemon thyme

Doesn’t this just look so pretty? It was a virtual forest in my mouth. As every spoonful of this went in my mouth with the sorbet, and chocolate elements made sounds like I was walking on a path in a forest, snapping off twigs with my foot as I walk. Love it!

As I mentioned earlier, during our degustation course their staff was very attentive and that made our dinner even more enjoyable. Highly recommended, and I definitely would like to revisit soon.

Sepia Restaurant & Wine Bar
201 Sussex street, Sydney NSW 2000
02 9283 1990

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