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Now Open: The French Cafe Has Transformed into a Central Auckland Dining Hub

The top Auckland restaurant has undergone a makeover and now boasts two restaurants, a bar and private dining rooms.
By Emma Clark-Dow
February 01, 2024
By Emma Clark-Dow
February 01, 2024

One of Auckland's top restaurants, Sid at the French Cafe, has had a dramatic makeover. The gourmet establishment has transformed into a mini dining hub featuring a new restaurant, bar and private dining spaces.

On Thursday, February 1, Sid at The French Cafe's dining space will become Anise, a restaurant focused on modern pan-Asian cuisine. Sid Sahrawat and his wife Chand will still be at the helm of this brand-new addition, with the name 'Anise' born out of Sid Sahrawat's first job as a chef in Wellington at a now-defunct restaurant of the same name.

While Anise might be moving in, The French Cafe itself isn't going anywhere. It's simply dropping the 'Sid' and moving down the hall to the space formerly reserved for private dining. Its much-loved menu is also sticking around, as well as the restaurant's special offerings, such as the Gaggenau Tuesday Test Kitchen and Chef Eats (where the team puts their spin on street eats each month).

These two spaces are the main components of the mini dining precinct the couple has created in the heart of Eden Terrace. Centred around an French quarter-inspired courtyard, guests can have their meal al fresco, warm themselves by the fireplace, enjoy a pre-dinner drink at the bar or book out the two private dining rooms.

The power couple excels at developing establishments that serve up standout South Asian cuisine, with successful restaurants like Cassia and KOL already under their belts. Sid at the French Cafe has also done well for itself, placing 309th on La Liste's Top 1000 restaurants, the highest spot achieved by a New Zealand restaurant.

The Sahrawats, alongside Sid at the French Cafe's head chef, Tommy Hope, have curated an offering filled with the "complexity and depth" of Asian cuisine.

"I've always been a massive fan of contemporary Asian flavours [and] I have always incorporated Asian influences in the fine dining context. I am now looking forward to diving back into the robust flavours of this region and sharing them with our diners," Sid Sahrawat says.

The dining hub can be found at 210 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace, and is open to the public starting Friday, February 2. The French Cafe is open Thursday–Saturday for dinner, with Anise open Tuesday–Saturday. Both venues are open for Saturday lunch. 

Published on February 01, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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