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“Disappointing Chef's Degustation and attitude”
Review of Sepia

Sepia
Ranked #93 of 6,102 Restaurants in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Australian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Reviewed April 23, 2013

In short: don't eat there on a Friday or Saturday (Chef's degustation), confirm your reservation (it will be gone otherwise), don't have the champagne but DO have the oysters. You can leave your teeth at home, you won't need them. His master (Tetsuya) is better.

In long:

We ate at Sepia last Friday and arrived excited and with high expectations. The disappointment started right at the door. They gave our table away because we failed to confirm (!) our booking. Because of a typo in the reservation they were unable to call us and we did not reply to one email (which we took as a simple booking reminder). So we got seated in the bar area without an apology. The restaurant has the arrogance which seems to come with 3 hats. "Be happy that you have to opportunity to eat our food and thank us for it"
Anyway, we were still determined to have an amazing night and went with the chef's degustation, matching wine, extra champagne and some oysters to start.

First the food: The sauce that came with the oysters was amazing. If I remember correctly it was lemon or lime with another sweeter fruit; very fresh and a perfect start. However, it went downhill from there. Except for the desert (the autumn forest) there was not a single signature dish (the ones you can see on the website) and all but one lacked the wow factor. The one outstanding dish was fried fish with lemon curd. However, I still struggle to understand why you would serve hot fish with a cold curd (resulting in a cold fish). Also, the extra cheese course is not necessary either. You won't miss anything.
Generally, you were able to eat all courses without a knife even the obligatory wagyu beef (a meat I believe is overrated).

The wines: Don't get their signature champagne for an extra 35 AUD or 40 if you are not doing the matching wines. It is no way better than any of the standard champagnes. Generally the selection appeared to be more focused on the novelty factor (wines from Greece, Hungary, China, Gruener Veltliner from Australia) rather than their quality. Of course, they were all drinkable but that was maybe the sommelier's big achievement: to find wines from these regions which are drinkable. We would have preferred some more standard wines which with their quality lift the experience of the dish. Yes that would have been more expensive but I do not believe any of the guests were struggling financially.

The service: Except for the table issue, service was attentive and very friendly. All dishes and wines were explained and empty water glasses refilled. They end up charging you one bottle of water per person which I believe is reasonable and encourages you to drink water ;)

The value for money was disappointing.

To conclude: I know the Thermomix is an amazing kitchen appliance, but don't let it dictate your menu.

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Thank Elamo84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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461 - 465 of 563 reviews

Reviewed April 20, 2013

a taste of flavours that got my senses thinking and it is a grand place with pleasant ambiance. Professional service as it should be... Professional!

Thank Jeff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We were a group of 4 from elsewhere so our first experience of Sepia. The food was outstanding for variety and delicate flavours. We enjoyed the degustation but not the up selling, we thought that cheapened the experience. A big grouch was constantly filling our glasses with sparkling mineral water ( we had agreed to the first one) so that 4 bottles were added to the bill-tacky! We arrived at 7 so the restaurant was empty and the empty tables (nothing on them except wine glasses) had us wondering if they had forgotten that we were coming . Not at all welcoming. Understanding what the waiters were saying was also a problem at times. It is difficult to recommend this restaurant when it wasn't a perfect experience.

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1  Thank joywAustralia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

This is a place for a special occasion - and to spend big. The menu is short - 4 choices for entree and the same for main, or a degustation for those who fancy that, and a chefs menu. The food is beautifully presented, delicate and refined. The service is very attentive and the staff are very good at explaining the dishes, special additions from the chef. The signature "pearl" pre dessert is very pretty - but i found the frozen coating/to be very hard and not so palatable, but that could be just me. Lovely and expensive wine list. Pity the bathrooms are out in the tower building which does feel a bit weird in a high end establishment.
Fancy food and a special experience.

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Thank suezzerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

Was hoping for my "best" meal in Sydney.

Left with a lack of fulfillment and had lost my appetite.

Service was stuffy and slow.

They did squeeze us in last minute on a Tuesday.

Food was "eh". If you like deconstructed and reimagined food, I guess this is your place.

I will always choose taste and quality over appearance and reputation.

A serious waste of money and my time.

Would not recommend this place as your "fine dine" experience in Sydney.

But what do I know, I am just another American.

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1  Thank Pras499
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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