Happy Birthday To Me!

I was super lucky last week and got to have two of the best meals ever.  Well, it was my birthday which is always my favorite time of year, mainly because it’s great to get close friends in the same room at the same time.  This year’s birthday lunch was at ACME.  It was wonderful, 15 of my closest girlfriends and I enjoying a delicious meal together.  As I’ve mentioned before ACME is a fantastic Sydney restaurant and I highly recommend it if you’re in town.

However, as wonderful as my birthday lunch was, the highlight was my birthday dinner.  It wasn’t just a highlight of my birthday, it was probably the highlight of my year (or even decade of food).  It crossed off a major tick on my Foodie Bucket List and was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.   As it should be—we went to Sepia- and had all 12 courses- with matching wines.

Sepia is legendary- not just in Sydney, not just in Australia but around the world.   It got voted the #1 Restaurant in Australia in 2015 according to the Australian Financial Review and one of only 3 Australian restaurants to make it into the top 100 restaurants in the world– (it was #84).  And by the way, if this was #84 I can’t even begin to imagine what eating at one of the top 10 would be.  This place was amazing but to think that it’s the Simone Bolelli (Who? Exactly!) of the Restaurant World, and there’s a Roger Federer or Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic out there somewhere is crazy, because it was one of the best places I’ve ever eaten.   I can only imagine what eating at Osteria Francescana, Alinea or El Cellar Can Roca would be like, because Sepia was beyond words.    Literally- beyond imagination, beyond belief, beyond tasty and beyond what I can describe.  The wines complimented each course in ways that I can’t describe and each element of each dish added a texture, flavour, scent, or visual element that it was like eating a work of art.   What made it equally amazing is that they only gave you the menu at the end.  We weren’t anticipating or wondering what each course was going to be or how they were going to make steak, tuna, or anything, we just enjoyed it as it was put in front of us.  We weren’t looking up what tosazu or mitsuba or uni were, we just enjoyed the dish.  It was only the following morning that we actually looked at the menu to figure out what we ate.  (Yes, they did tell you at the time what it was but it was hard to keep track – and there were a few accents which were a bit hard to decipher.)

I can honestly say, for the first 11 courses, it was one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve ever eaten-  the dessert did do me in though.  I was so full (understandably after 11 courses) and slightly tipsy (after matching wines) that The Runner had to finish my dessert.  Which I’m not all together happy with, because the bites that I had were delicious- but I was in danger of bursting! Literally, it was like a Man Vs. Food episode, and to be honest, the food won.    It was amazing and well worth the fullness.

They say a picture is literally worth a thousand words- and I don’t think I can do the meal justice with words- so enjoy!

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Course 1:  Oysters to Start!
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Course 2:  Saikou salmon, smoked roe, sudachi; Smoked scarlet prawn, tempura oba; Bonito, tatami iwashi, dashi jelly

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Course 3:  Tuna, quail egg, tosazu, kabu, daikon, horseradish leaf oi, wasabi flower
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Course 4:  Spanner crab, sake vinegar jelly, salted cucumber and green apple, brown butter emulsion
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Course 5:  Miso kingfish, watermelon radish, yuzu dashi, mitsuba, finger lime, chrysanthemum
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Course 6:  Charcoal grilled black lip abalone, bamboo, sea vegetables, dashi-cream, cured pork cheek, wakame oil
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Course 7:  Seared uni, smoked bone marrow, cauliflower, yuzu koshu
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This was the butter!  It came with a Japanese style milk bread- yum!  Maybe that was where I went wrong- I had two pieces of bread!
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Course 8:  Roasted Aylesbury duck breast, lemon aspen, sheep yoghurt, mulberry vinegar, kinome
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Course 9:  Charcoal grilled David Blackmore wagyu, chestnut mushroom, roasted onion miso and mustard

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Course 10:  The Cheese Course- Comte, pear jelly, roasted endive, fried walnuts, plum, celery– spoiler alert- it’s not actually a pear!

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Course 11:  Elderflower and Laurent-Perrier rose jelly, Champagne chiboust, fennel pollen syrup
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Course 12:  Nectarine, rhubard, rose
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Course 13- Finally- we actually each had a different dessert but I dropped the ball and only managed a photo of this one.  This was the Autumn Chocolate Forest.  The other was just called Milks.
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Just when we thought it was over… their “stones” dessert.  They were filled with chocolate, berry, and passionfruit!  It was an EPIC meal!!!
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