Restaurant Guide


Clayton Wells pulls it off time and time again.
AutomataNikki To
5 Kensington St Chippendale, Sydney, NSW

What’s in a name? Automata, as machines, function seamlessly without any hint to their inner workings. Here, in an industrial setting warmed by buzz and hum, layers of depth and nuance lie behind a veneer of simplicity. Take the beef rump cap – pink, with a dark crust – for which the accompanying grains, called Job’s tears, have been inoculated with koji for added savouriness. Or the circle of raw yellowfin tuna, covered with burnt watermelon dressed with tamari, which hides a centre of cream turned sour with kefir. The 5-course prix fixe may have crept to over $100, but based on the level of skill and the speed of thought, this is still one of the best-value tasting menus around. Marvel at the delicacy of beetroot slices pinched around spheres of sheep’s curd and served in a broth of crab apple and fennel, or the depth of flavour in the ink sauce underscoring arrows of cuttlefish. Add a killer drinks list with a fondness for the rare and unusual, and staff who are both switched-on and relaxed, and this is a place that’s ticking over nicely. Well-oiled, and running smoothly.


(02) 8277 8555



Bookings recommended


  • Licensed

  • Vegetarian-friendly

  • Wheelchair friendly

  • Impressive wine list

Accepted card types:

  • American Express

  • Diners Club

  • 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.

Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide

2020 Top 50 Rank – #24

Wine: ★ ★

Gourmet Traveller’s restaurant guide gives a yearly snapshot at the best restaurants to eat at right now. The best-rated restaurants, as judged by the reviewers’ first-hand experience, form our national Top 50. The wine star-ratings, which range from zero to three stars are made by wine editor Max Allen on the strength of the quality of the restaurant’s wine list. View our rating key here.

5 Kensington St Chippendale, Sydney, NSW
Clayton Wells
Bookings recommended
Wheelchair Access
Opening Hours
Lunch Fri-Sat noon-3pm Dinner Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm

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