Restaurant Reviews

Automata: Restaurant review



5 Kensington St
Chippendale, Sydney, NSW


Lunch Fri-Sat noon-3pm
Dinner Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm


3-course lunch $55
5-course set menu $88


It's a rare trick, but Clayton Wells pulls it off time and time again: the creation of plates that are ephemeral in their beauty but emphatic in their flavour and depth. Perhaps the valves and Fritz Lang lines of the décor are meant to emphasise that Automata is a creative powerhouse. Certainly Wells manages to keep up the pace of constant menu change without his constructions ever seeming sloppy or haphazard: clover-like leaves of oxalis giving wedges of black plum and beetroot a shiver of tension, say, or a loose XO-style chilli sauce and red vinegar the surprisingly elegant backbeat to hunks of grilled octopus under fronds of fennel. Likewise, there's confidence enough on the floor that when (say) an unusual drinks pairing is suggested, it never feels like antic stunt-casting. There's much to be said for the (relative) brevity of a tasting of five courses, and though the dining be fine, the vibe is buzzy rather than hushed. It's haute gone hip.

(02) 8277 8555

Bookings recommended


  • Licensed
  • Bar
  • Vegetarian-friendly
  • Outdoor dining
  • Impressive Wine List

Accepted card types:

  • American Express
  • Eftpos
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

Clayton Wells

This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.