Two-hatted Chippendale restaurant Automata is set to close in December, owner and head chef Clayton Wells having announced "It's the perfect time to zip up and move on".
Wells has been serving knockout contemporary dishes from beneath The Old Clare Hotel since 2015 but, in a statement released on Thursday, the chef says he's hungry for a fresh challenge.
"I feel like I have explored everything I've wanted to with Automata," Wells says.
"After nearly seven wonderful years, I have decided that I would like to challenge myself creatively and explore something new."
It's a common theme for the chef, who once told The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide editor Callan Boys he was "all about constant change and never repeating a dish".
Boys scored Automata 16.5 out of 20 in April, describing the raw scallops with oyster emulsion, marigold and caviar as his favourite dish of the year at the time.
"I'm so incredibly proud of what our little restaurant in Chippendale has achieved with our current team under Rachael Trewin and James Tai, and all the incredible people that have worked with us over the years, as well as the amazing support we've had from our diners and the hospitality industry," Wells says.
"I'm not entirely sure what is next for me, but I have some future projects in mind, and I'm looking forward to challenging myself the way I have co-owning and operating Automata."
The restaurant will continue to serve its regular tasting menu ($165) and extended tasting menu ($195) from Wednesday to Saturday until December 17.