Bishop Sessa in Surry Hills opened in 2012 and Owner Erez Gordon attributes the venue’s staying power to the fact it honours the customer above all else.
Much has changed since opening. Craig Gray has replaced founding chef Paul Cooper in the kitchen and has brought with him classical French roots and on-demand creativity learned from a stint cooking at Pidgin, a London eatery that serves a new menu every week.
Gray’s style is spartan and ingredient focused, but never boring. In an autumn-menu dish featuring pork belly with apple sauce, each ingredient is allowed to stand alone without much interference.
The tartare is a unique take on a classic. A salty, rich concoction of oyster cream is mixed through the beef and it’s served with a cured egg and toast cooked in tallow, so the beef flavour works throughout the dish. The octopus is served with ‘nduja, a fiery spreadable sausage, as well as butternut squash, fennel and sumac.
Bishop Sessa is famous for its five-course degustation menus that celebrate a particular ingredient. I Dream of Pork is an annual pork feast served with eight matching wines, and I Heart Duck focuses on fowl and pinot noir.
The wine list is a bible (there are around 30 chardonnays alone) representing a wealth of winemaking talent, and Gordon is a knowledgeable guide for anyone who needs it.