Chef Clayton Wells (ex Momofuku Seiōbo) has this week opened his first solo venture, Automata at Chippendale’s The Old Clare Hotel.
The venue offers an ever-changing five course menu that focuses on incorporating interesting ingredients in a contemporary and original way. Dishes on the opening menu include: storm clam, rosemary dashi, cream and dulse; steamed bass groper, cured roe emulsion, seaweed; partridge, witlof, burnt apple and caper; pumpkin seed, tangelo and sea buckthorn.
Automata's, front-of-house is led by restaurant manager Abby Meinke, formerly of Moon Park, Claude’s, Bentley Restaurant + Bar and New York’s WD50.
The beverage list has been thoughtfully put together byTim Watkins (formerly of Pilu at Freshwater, Ester and Monopole) and focuses on European and Australian aperitifs and wines, many of which are made with minimal intervention.
The interior of the venue features a raw, industrial look that plays on the theme of machinery and non-electronic automation, the design of which is the brainchild of designer Matt Darwon a.k.a. Matt Machine. UK-based The Rag and Bone Man’s Paul Firbank and Lizzie Gosling are also behind many of the machinery fittings within the venue including an old aircraft radial engine chandelier, and aircraft piston down lights.
The warehouse-style building features six metre high ceilings, long communal tables and original floor to ceiling windows along with a separate mezzanine dining area.
“I wanted to create a restaurant with the intention of showcasing local produce in a way that combines fine dining style food that I love to cook, with a casual restaurant feel that I enjoy eating in,” says Wells.
“I want people to be able to dictate the dining experience themselves, whether a leisurely lunch on a Sunday or a quick post-work dinner.”
Automata opened on Wednesday, 16 September at 5 Kensington Street, Chippendale.
Automata's mezzanine level