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“Elements do not add up!”
Review of Sepia

Sepia
Ranked #84 of 6,032 Restaurants in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Australian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Reviewed October 26, 2012

By writing this review I would not want to take away from the quality and technique applied to the food presented but I feel a good night out encompasses more elements and this is where Sepia let me down. We were a family of four and on looking at the menu on line beforehand we chose the Degustation Menu with matched wines. To start with when we entered the restaurant and were shown to a table we thought we were still in the bar area. It was a small area with no real atmosphere and there were no tableclothes on the tables. In fact the tables were not dressed at all. As has been said previously the toilets were a bit of a walk up behind the kitchen ad into another building, part of a deserted (at night) food court. The service was not quick or attentive. A couple of the waiters English was very hard to understand when they were describing the dish they were serving so I had to keep asking them to repeat themselves. Our Sommelier was however great and took the time to explain the wines he was serving and to answer our questions. We had wines from the four corners of the world which meant that there was only one wine served that we had tried before. Now to the food. There were courses that showcased this chefs obvious talent but there were a couple that were ordinary. The cheese dish (which was an extra and did not come as a part of the degustation menu) was very cold, so much so that you could not taste it. I think if you are going to charge $160 a person then include whatever dishes you serve in the price. I thought it was tacky to be asking people if they would like oysters to start or a cheese dish and then say that it came at an extra cost! Which now leads me to the price. For over $265 a person, plus 'extras' you would expect to be 'wowed' which we were not. The whole experience is made up of many parts and in my mind only the food came near to the three hat standard awarded. The atmosphere, position, service and value all fell short. To put it bluntly - not worth the money. I will not return.

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2  Thank Raine1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 24, 2012

I sometimes wonder what the qualifications etc are for the restaurant reviewers who contribute to the various food guides.
I have been to Sepia 3 or 4 times in the past and thought it deserved the highest rating.Until yesterday my last visit to Sepia was about a year ago.
Yesterday I had dinner with 3 friends.
The night started off quite well at the bar,good service,excellent cocktails/drinks etc.
When we went to our table,looked at menu etc we decided to order A la carte as one of our group didn't eat seafood .On the Degustation menu seafood holds sway.Also on the 4 course menu,with choices half were seafood.
We ordered food and wine.The wine came promptly as did the 'amuse bouche'.
An hour and a quarter later the entree arrived.By this time we had finished a bottle of wine.
At this time I should comment on prices.I have visited many restaurant both in Australia and abroad, I don't mind paying at the top range when the food,service deserve it.
Yesterday Sepia fell short.
As an example re price, my entree was two small pieces of sashimi tuna,price $39.
The main courses were obviously larger ,they were all $54.Small side dishes were $14 each.The main courses were okay but nowhere near stunning which you expect from a '3 Hat' restaurant.
To be totally fair,I'll give this restaurant another 6 months before I visit it again.

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1  Thank grahame l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I have eaten all over the world and would rank my long Saturday lunch here as one of the top gastronomic experiences anywhere. The food was quite simply breathtaking and inspiring. The service was sensational and the wine list was superb. As a couple I loved the long list of half bottles of high quality on the list meaning that we could try very good wines to match the food; there were some interesting wines for me so I could try something different. The chef was there as we saw him after service and it doesn't half show. The ambience was balanced between upbeat yet intimate and I cannot wait to go back. The handling of seafood in particular was gifted.

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Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

What an insult to any discerning palate. How this place was awarded 3 hats is totally beyond me. My guess is that the reviewer(s) were impressed by how many ingredients could be inserted in a spoon sized serving. It could not have been based upon taste because the way they amalgamate 7 to 10 ingredients together in EVERY creation means most dishes end up as a near paste of flat on the palate tiny food pieces with badly conflicting flavours. There's nothing to chew and nothing which evokes an involuntary "yummm". More likely you'll say "oh, that's not a nice combination". My wife and I each opted for the 7 course degustation menu at $155 per person before the "extras". These extras were pushed at regular intervals throughout the meal. The waiter says "would you like to try our etc etc". One assumes these are part of the complex degustation menu but they're NOT included and that's your huge price surprise at the end of the night. Luckily I was aware of this slight of hand thanks to another Trip Advisor reviewer's comments in this site. Frankly this restaurant is all show and no go. As a novelty it may impress the visiting Chinese businessmen who comprise 90% of the clientele due to its gauchely novel western ways with food. However, if you really know food and have a discerning palate you'll avoid this place like the plague. By the time we were halfway through the degustation we truly couldn't wait for it to end. I've NEVER felt that way about a degustation menu before. Now as to the wine menu.... it was totally overwhelming. I'm guessing 200 - 300 different wines at least and from all corners of the globe. An $85 bottle is towards the lower end of the price scale and the one highly recommended to me by the sommelier turned out to be sooooo ordinary. Look, if you're planning to come here for great food, then quickly swerve away NOW.

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1  Thank Brian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Sepia is the gastronomic paradise in Sydney. Martin Benn has to be one of the Worlds best chefs. Every dish is a work of art and a sensory pleasure.
No wonder this venue has been voted "Restaurant of the Year" and "Chef of the Year"
Make sure you have the degustation menu enjoyed with head sommellier Rodney's sensational and eclectic matching wines....to die for.

2  Thank aexcell
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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