Located just down from the hustle and bustle of Town Hall on the ground floor of Darling Park at 201 Sussex Street, Sepia is an oasis of calm – from the comfortable dining chairs in the restaurant to the stylish marble bar in the centre of the room.
It is the creative collaboration of George Costi of renowned seafood emporium De Costi, English born chef, Martin Benn and my old friend Vicki Wild.
As you’d expect seafood features heavily on Benn’s menu in many of the European/Japanese fusion options – appropriate as Martin became head chef at Tetsuya’s at only 25.
In 2007, Martin left Tets and Sydney for Hong Kong but, at Costi’s request, returned in 2008 to open Sepia. Almost from the beginning the accolades began – 2010 NSW Restaurant & Catering Associations’ Best New Restaurant and TimeOut Sydney’s Best Seafood Restaurant Award as well as a listing in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide.
When I went for a drink with a girlfriend, I sampled the following flight of three Northern Italian wines with recommended food match, angel hair pasta with scampi & tarragon:
Arnaldo Caprai ‘Grecante’ Grechetto (Colli Martani, Umbria)
Castello di Neive ‘Montebertotto” Arneis (Langhe, Piemonte)
Bastianich Friulano (Colli Orientali, Friuli)
Martin Benn’s angel hair pasta with scampi & tarragon
Each month Sepia features three different wines with a food matching suggestion. Next offerings include:
April Chenin Blanc with Antipasto of Serrano Jamon with Aged Reggiano and Balsamic Cherries
May Island Wines with Grilled Sardines with Marinated Pimentos and Aioli
June Spanish Medium-bodied Reds with House Cured Wagyu Bresaola with Smoked Octopus
July South American Full-bodied Reds with Dashi Braised Beef Brisket with Roasted Buckwheat
Another great Sepia option is the Down To Business Lunch – $55 for two courses and $70 for three with guaranteed service in under an hour. Available from Tuesday to Friday. Impressive.
Finally, Saturday dinner is the weekly changing Chef’s Tasting Menu – 7 courses for $130.