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Bar of the Year 2018
28.07.2017

Whether it's a late-night spot playing hip-hop at full volume, a throwback to the glamour of yesteryear or a bar-restaurant that slips the collar of definition, these three Bar of the Year finalists have all nailed one essential detail: good times.

Finalists for Regional Restaurant of the Year 2018
27.07.2017

These three restaurants - Fleet, Brae and Igni - might not be in capital cities, but the journey there is part of the unforgettable experience they offer.

Living off the land in winter
27.07.2017

The life of a farmer revolves around the seasons. Come winter, a certain thriftiness is needed in the kitchen to make the most of meagre produce, writes Paulette Whitney.

Why breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day in Italy
27.07.2017

Italy's claim to being the greatest of the world's cuisines has one key weakness: breakfast. But, argues John Irving, there's more to the story than first meets the eye.

Reasons to visit Los Angeles in 2017
27.07.2017

The hottest spots to eat, drink, play and stay on your next trip to LA, rounded up into one perfect day.

Reasons to visit Canberra in 2017
27.07.2017

Your guide to a perfect stay in Canberra, from where to sleep to the exhibitions you need to check out.

Restaurants with rooms
27.07.2017

Some of Australia's best dining destinations take the hassle out of a weekend stay by offering their own on-site digs where you can hit the hay in style after your meal.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018
26.07.2017

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - they do as much to create a sense of ambience as lighting, tableware and music. And these three professionals are top of the class.

Automata
Modern Australian
  • 5 Kensington St,
    Chippendale,
    Sydney, NSW
  • (02) 8277 8555,
    www.automata.com.au/
  • Lunch Fri-Sat noon-3pm

    Dinner Tues-Sat 6pm-10pm

Automata
-33.884932,151.201653

If the name conjures images of something chilly, the reality is anything but robotic. Sure, the decorative detailing, involving valves and steel flanges, has a touch of the Fritz Lang about it, but the warmth and buzz of the place (projected in no small part by the impressive floor team) makes it more of an engine room than assembly line. All the pistons are firing in the open kitchen, certainly. The lumpen plates are duff, but chef Clayton Wells's compositions are perfectly tuned. He presents onions both pickled and cooked to softness as a foil for grilled bonito on kombu butter, throws a toasty scatter of za'atar over duck hearts and roasted lettuce for texture, and slips the surprise of capers into an inspired, texturally daring dessert of yoghurt sorbet, plum and bee pollen. The set five courses fly fast and fun, but the bar menu is perfect for even shorter attention spans, especially taken in conjunction with the feisty, foxy drinks offer.  


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At a glance

  • Food:
  • Two Stars
  • Wine:
  • Two glasses
  • Price:
  • 5 course tasting menu $88 

  • Feature:
  • Licensed
    Bar
    Vegetarian
    Wheelchair Access
    Impressive Wine List
  • Cards:
  • American Express
    Eftpos
    MasterCard
    Visa
  • Bookings:
  • Bookings recommended
  • Chef:
  • Clayton Wells

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