Date of Visit: March 15 2014
If you have been following my Instagram @OutForALongLunch, you can correctly assume that I’m back in Sydney – which I am – and I shall remain for a month for some business and R&R…
4 months away from Sydney, I am looking forward to a Saturday lunch with my family. So here we are at Sepia (again!)
To kick-off we ordered a bottle of bordeaux (pinot noir) from Le Clementine du Pape Clement 2009,Pessac-Léognan. We always order lighter styles of reds to compliment our meals so as not to over-power the cuisine. We are really here to enjoy the food and the wine is only meant as accompaniment!
We ordered Oysters for palate starters (optional choice for $60). The oysters with ponzu lime juice seriously openned up the tastebuds with the sweet acidic juice to ‘cut’ the very succulent and creamy oysters.
This is a solid one bite wonder. A very dense piece of meat, was thinking perhaps it was cured meat? I didn’t take note of what the waiter was saying as I knew from my previous experience (post here) that I shall be getting the menu later. In any regards, it was swordfish rolled in the furikake of flavoursome umami of miso and peppers.
Sheep yoghurt rolled in a sashimi of yellow-fin tuna and sprinkled with green crackling. The thick yoghurt and avocado are offset by the acidity of ponzu juice.
A richly coloured powdered of dehydrated rhubarb, beetroot and rye on top of of jelly of rhubarb hiding a mould of cheese under. Looking ornate like a pile of ruby dust, however as one digs into the pile, the liquidy rhubarb starts to ooze out. I took some cross-sectional pics with my iPhone, but iPhone being iPhone, the pics came blurry even though I held my phone very still…
A third into lunch, we were asked whether we would like to take a break by munching on some bread? Being carb-phobics, we think not, let the flow continues!
This course reminded me that I have to buy some krill oil to take back to Hong Kong… yet also harkens back to the salmon roe rice at Kikunoi in Japan (post yet to be done!) – so stayed tuned! 😊 Basically a very rich risotto rice dish with ‘curdy’ egg yolk, topped with the fishy salmon roe. I believe a high skill and superior technique is warranted so not to overcook the egg yolk.
Finito! A clean bowl to show how I had appreciated this course!
While the others had Spanner Crab…
…me, being allergic to shellfish – or rather, crustaceans – had Snapper with Salmon Roe. I love the lovely ensemble of colours, but the fish was a bit over-cooked (a little tough) but the tiny dots of jelly sauces are very flavoursome and mouthwatering!
The wagyu beef were actually thinly shaved slices of beef with a shiso leaf sandwiched in-between. Despite all the prep, the beef tasted ordinary.😁 The star of this course however, I believe is the tiny potatoes, mukago potatoes which are a new species. “Unlike typical potatoes they grow on a vine rather than underground. For this reason some people refer to them as ‘air-potatoes’. Mukago potatoes fall off the vine very easily when they are ripe”. (See more here.)
This course exudes ‘Australiana’. I like the sourish wonderfully tart lemon taste with a hint of grapefruit. I also loved the red hue of the venison which was very tender. The additional of myoga (Japanese ginger) binds the different elements of the dish well.
Optional: Pyengana cheddar, plum wine and apple pectin, sheep yoghurt and apple cream – we didn’t take uo the offer as we were rather stuffed.
Well, well, well… this is the first of the 3 desserts. Mmm… presentation looks kind of similar to course #3. Frozen ice over jelly, pretty good.
This is a light dessert. Pumpkin ice-cream with miso is unusual, but the combination went well – sweet and savoury – and a bit herby from the sorrel. Yuba which is tofu skin seems to be very fashionable as you will see in my Tetsuya’s post later… stay tuned! 😋
Licked another plate clean!
The finale: “Autumn chocolate forest” consisting of soft chocolate, hazelnut and almond, lavender and honey cream, sour cherry sorbet, rose and violet jellies, green tea, liquorice, chocolate twigs. This is Sepia’s signature – and one that I had in my first visit (here).
Unfortunately, at this stage, I am totally stuffed. I cannot finish the final dessert. On a personal note, although I’m pursuing bodybuilding at the moment, I don’t think degustation is totally unhealthy (but don’t tell my trainer about it as he gets very annoyed – “Char-siu is NOT proper protein! It’s coated with maltose!”) Nevertheless, I find the meal to be well-balanced using fresh ingredients which I presume to be healthy – c’mon at A$175pp, I’d say so! 😏
Complimentary dark chocolate with minty cream centers. Perfect with a glass of cold-drip coffee from El Salvador ($10)
Overall a very Japanoise-skewed meal with literal uses of supplementary Japanese ingredients. From my first visit last year, Sepia has transgressed from foam and sashimi to mushy curd and cream which is rather fashionable now (see my post on Sixpenny here).