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Automata at the Old Clare Is Opening Its Doors

Chippendale's foodie star continues to rise.

Chippo’s new eatery marks two firsts. Named Automata, it’ll be first hotel to open at the revamped Old Clare Hotel and it is chef Clayton Wells’ first solo venture.

“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. 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,” Wells said.

This might be Wells’s first solo ride, but he’s a man of experience. He’s worked at Tetsuya’s, London’s Michelin-starred Viajante and Quay (under Peter Gilmore), and used to be sous chef at Momofuku Seiobo.

Set to open on September 16, the 60-seater will be serving dinner Wednesday through to Saturday and lunch on Sunday. Five ever-changing courses ($88 + $55 for optional matching wine) will be on offer, with the focus on unusual ingredients, put together in a modern, innovative manner, without too much fuss. To give you an idea, the opening menu is promising storm clam, rosemary dashi, cream and dulse; steamed bass groper, cured roe emulsion, seaweed; partridge, witlof, burnt apple and caper; and pumpkin seed, tangelo and sea buckthorn.

Meanwhile, designer Matt Darwon (aka Matt Machine), The Rag and Bone Man’s Paul Firbank and Lizzie Gosling (UK) consulted on Automata’s 6-metre high interior that plays with the theme of machinery. Expect aircraft piston lights and a stunning chandelier made of a former aircraft radial engine.

Automata is one of three high-profile restaurants opening at the new hotel on the Old Clare/Carlton United Brewery site. UK chef Jason Atherton will open the 120-seater Kensington Street Social, and Briton Sam Miller (former executive sous chef at Copenhagen’s Noma) will also open his first solo restaurant, Silvereye, on the second floor.

Published on September 15, 2015 by Jasmine Crittenden

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