Automata: Restaurant review

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.

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