We arrive at Automata to an easy greeting with a quite relaxed atmosphere. I’m a bit mean and get the waitress to explain the menu even though I’ve already read it before I get there. She politely obliged.
Our snacks are written on the menu which seems to just be the way in Australia, we prefer the surprise element. Bush tomato cream, brick pastry tube, herbs – it’s nice but not winning any awards. Spiced pumpkin vol-au-vent – personally I felt the pastry a little over. Initial flavour of pumpkin nice but then lost.
Ridel glasses for wine, Spiegelau for water.
Sheep’s curd, globe artichoke, nasturtium – a gentle start, still not blowing minds but not bad all the same. The waiters funny, I really like his sense of humour.
Steamed red sugarloaf cabbage, trout roe, hibiscus and shiso – reminds me of that course at White Rabbit. I wonder if they got the idea from there. Either way, it’s a good interpretation. The flavours developed as I ate which really worked for me.
Wholemeal bread, the butter is infused with anchovies and chicken jus. A second helping comes out without asking, very good. The bread itself could be warmer but it’s incredible all the same and the butter is out of this world. Having more of it makes me very happy. Simply making the bread hot would elevate the experience immensely.
Champagne lobster, cumquat sabayon, rosemary and egg white dashi – for once in my life I’m not quite sure what to think. It’s cooked well but the lack of seasoning across the course ruined it.
Fermented mushroom pasta, toasted buckwheat and shiitake. Cooked incredibly. If I liked mushroom or they’d used a different flavour I’d be in heaven.
Black Angus hangar, grilled eggplant, fermented chilli and arame – super smokey and delightful, delicious and all those good words. Gorgeous. The course of the night.
Hafod cheddar and rye tart, quince, creme fraiche, sherry caramel. Meh.
I’m incredibly fascinated by the yoghurt dessert it’s wonderful. I really liked it, my dining companions aren’t so convinced. Its official description was yoghurt, burnt meringue, bergamot, mulberry and lemon myrtle.
Dark chocolate, roasted kelp oil, candied white kombu and wakame. Too seaweedy for me, the table loves it though.
Overall a nice place some good dishes but very hit and miss. I wouldn’t rush to go back there however I did appreciate the creativeness that went into the courses and the good courses were very good.