Sepia at Darling Park
Ground Floor, Darling Park
201 Sussex Street
+61 2 9283 1990
Housed in a tall office building overlooking Darling Harbour, Sepia has a polished retro interior with soft lighting. A centrally located marble and brass bar evenly splits the restaurant into two sides. With its distinguished address and immaculate ambience, it caters to the high-powered executives in the building.
Sepia is a creative collaboration between well-known seafood wholesaler George Costi of De Costi Seafoods and British-born Sydney chef Martin Benn, formerly of Tetsuya, which explains his penchant for Japanese touches. Chef Benn also spent time at Aqua in Hong Kong in 2007 before returning to Sydney.
He says: “My inspiration is to create a quintessential city restaurant reminiscent of London and New York that serves a unique style of contemporary food pulling inspiration from Japan and matching it with new thinking. I am utilising Australia’s very best seafood from around the country and treating it with respect to produce smart and interesting food.”
An example: fresh yellow-fin tuna tartar layered with creamy avocado and a sumptuous soy and wasabi jelly, served in transparent glass bowls and scooped up with a dainty wooden spoon. Another Japanese-influenced dish is the salt-crusted Murray cod, lightly pan fried and accompanied by a flawless chawanmushi (egg custard). For starters, Coffin Bay oysters from South Australia and smaller Pembula rock oysters from New South Wales were served with a straightforward but refreshing dressing of shallot and rice vinegar.
“I would love Sepia to continue to grow and evolve,” says Benn. “We have now put in place a Saturday night chef’s tasting menu with an eight-course dinner that gives us the freedom in the kitchen to explore different produce and techniques. So far, the guests have embraced this.”
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