Eat: Martin Benn – Sepia Restaurant, Sydney

As the creative collaboration between two highly regarded food identities –  Chef Martin Benn and renowned seafood wholesaler George Costi of De Costi Seafoods, Sepia Restaurant was always destined to make its mark on the global culinary map. Since opening in 2009 at the prestigious Darling Park precinct in Sussex Street, Sydney, the three-hatted restaurant has been making waves both at home and abroad. Having been voted as the 84th best restaurant in the world last year, industry recognition soon followed when it was voted Australia’s best restaurant by chefs in a poll released by the Australian Financial Review.

The contemporary menu found at Sepia utilises on quality seasonal produce and draws on inspiration from Japan to produce dishes which are as enticing on the eyes as they are on the palate. Each meal is meticulously crafted on the plate with upmost care and respect to create dishes which are nothing short of culinary art. With a menu that evolves each week and an eclectic selection of wines from around the globe – it’s no wonder Sepia has become the ‘go to’ place to mark those special occasions and a must visit for tourists embarking on culinary adventures. 

With a cuisine legacy from mentors Tetsuya Wakuda and Marco Pierre White, Head Chef Martin Benn has helped create a dining experience that is nothing short of unforgettable. Here we talk food and that Sepia experience with the man himself, Chef Martin Benn.

On Martin Benn…

Name: Martin Benn

Restaurant: Sepia

Time spent as head chef: Since opening in 2009

Where did you begin your career? London, under Chef Marco Pierre White

What drove your passion for food? Growing up in a fishing village I have always been passionate about seafood

What is your food philosophy? When you think about food and what you want to eat in Australia……it’s the quality and diversity of our seafood….and that’s what my cuisine is based on

Signature dish: Butter poach Port Lincoln Squid, Miso cured Egg Yolk, Wasabi Flowers, Yuzu

On Sepia Resturant

Must try for dinner (and why): On my current menu – spanner crab, sake vinegar jelly, salted cucumber and green apple, brown butter emulsion

Most popular dinner choice: Western Australian marron, shellfish emulsion, shell powder and lemon aspen

Red wine of choice: NV Laurent-Perrier ‘Cuvée Rosé’ Pinot Noir Champagne, France

White wine of choice: Grace Koshu Yamanashi, Japan

Most decedent dessert: Chocolate forest floor dessert

What makes your dining experience different? Sepia’s menu focuses on the best Australian seafood, with an emphasis on the idea and technique

Best time to visit: Anytime!

What is trending in food: That as a chef you must be a storyteller, spruiking your philosophy

What is on it’s way out: That as a chef you must be a storyteller, spruiking your philosophy