SEPIA WINE BAR (CLOSED)
Sydney, New South Wales

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Sepia Wine Bar is part of Sepia Restaurant and is listed as Sepia Restaurant.
Opening Times
 
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General info

Address:

201 Sussex Street,
Darling Park, Ground Floor
Sydney CBD NSW 2000

Suburb:

Sydney CBD

Contact:

Cuisine:

Asian, Japanese

Price Range:

$$$$ ~ $$$$

License:

Fully Licensed (no BYO)

More info

PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS

Sepia may be renowned as one of Australia's best degustation restaurants; but there is more to the 2014 Sydney Morning Herald "Restaurant of the Year" than meets the eye. Chef Martin Benn isn't your standard, pan-frying chef. He's the scientist type, who creates dishes made with jamon Iberico cream, green tea soil or a kombu (type of seaweed) crumb. It's hardly a surprise, (cookie-cutter chefs don't get three hats) but when you compare the restaurant menu to the wine bar menu, they're chalk and cheese.

Crowd-pleasing combinations such as salami and rosemary grissini, tuna sashimi and wasabi and chicken liver parfait with croutons make up the bulk of the bar menu but it's the Japanese charcoal grill that I'm particularly drawn to. Yakitori is a deceptively difficult cooking technique. It may appear basic, almost too basic for a chef who has a three chef hat badge but, that's where the problem therein lies. Any slip-ups or mistakes cannot be masked in yakitori, any ‘over-seasoned marinade' or every piece of ‘marginally over-cooked meat' is blaringly obvious, for every blogger and food critic to slam. It's a risky choice, that doesn't always pay off.

Onions are just onions, right? Not Chef Martin Benn's Barletta onions though, these are smoky and sweet, served with a shiso vinegar dressing that I could have easily drunk from the bowl, had I not been sitting in such polished surrounds. A dish of shiitake mushrooms create similar excitement, again with a dressing of ponzu and yuzu. The Sepia version of a donburi, Benn smokes and glazes unagi (freshwater) eel with soy and serves with a confit garlic emulsion. The Japanese may eat unagi to cure heat fatigue but this is a cool Autumn night and it feels like honest, comfort food to me. Sometimes I love sharing, sometimes I hate it. At Sepia, I hate it. Every time a dish comes to the table, there's suddenly tension. Who's getting the last mouthful of dressing? The last skewer? That question came up with the deboned and stuffed yakitori chicken wings and again with the grilled partridge skewer.

Great chefs are like talented sportspeople, whatever the sport, they can play the game. He's mastered the futuristic at Sepia, yet is grounded in tradition at Sepia Wine Bar – quiet achiever Martin Benn may well be one of the most talented men of the moment.
Anna Lisle

Specials & Events

This restaurant has not scheduled any event.

Functions

FUNCTION MENU
Please contact the restaurant for further information.
MAX SEATING
n/a

Features

Bar / Wine Bar
Late Night Dining
Something Different
Suitable for Groups of 10
AWARDS
This restaurant does not have any awards.

Reviews

CHEF RECOMMENDATIONS
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