We were definitely sold on this hot, new restaurant.
Automata’s been on my hit list for a while. I’d read about it before it opened… and then good reviews after it opened. It’s just taken me a while to get there. What better occasion than a Friday lunch with a fellow foodie, LH. I had an extra minute or two before she arrived and there was (unusually) a lovely dry fino on the menu for an aperitif.
We opted for three courses for lunch, with matching beverages (yum!) and then ended up having an extra cheese course. This was just a little amuse-bouche. Yum. Inside the tiny green balls was a hint of Japanese plum.
The stracciatella cheese was amazing… with amaebi (I think those are the raw, shrimp-like creatures), kombu and shellfish oil. Great textures, strong flavours. Italian soft cheeses like this are so pleasing on the tongue.
I had the pork belly with grilled greens, a homemade xo sauce, and red vinegar.
LH opted for the John Dory, with eggplant, burnt carrot, olives and herb. Lovely plates, beautiful plated.
We couldn’t resist this dense, crumbly montgomery cheddar, which seemed to be more about the interesting texture than the taste, which was subtle.
To finish, a yoghurt sorbet with tamarillo, mulberry and kelp oil. I thought it was an interesting dash of savoury. LH did too, eventually, but I think she had a little too much on her dish compared to me. I really like a dish like this that seems like it could be simple to make… but it wasn’t simple at all, really.
The three courses were $55 each, and we split the cheese course ($12) and then we had drinks on top of that… Ah, and the service was very friendly and efficient.
It was contemporary, a bit surprising, but mostly delicious!