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18° & RAINY ON SUNDAY 29 MARCH IN AUCKLAND
By Laetitia Laubscher
November 29, 2018
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Sid at The French Cafe

The reimagined fine dining menu from restaurateurs Sid and Chand Sahrawat is a marriage of old and new.
By Laetitia Laubscher
November 29, 2018
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Esteemed restaurateurs Sid and Chand Sahrawat have officially taken the regins at iconic Auckland restaurant The French Café, which will forthwith be known as Sid at The French Cafe.

For 35 years The French Cafe has been the jewel in Auckland's fine dining crown with Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright at the helm. The move came in anticipation of a lifestyle change so they can spend more time together as a family and start planning their next venture.

Given the legacy built by the previous owners, the Sahrawat's know they have a challenge to live up to, but considering their reputation for quality and own legacy of multi award-winning eateries — Sidart in Ponsonby and Cassia in Auckland CBD — I don't think anyone can doubt that they are the best culinary team for the job. Diners will now be able to enjoy a menu that pays homage to the old with nods to the French Cafe's much-loved favourite dishes being incorporated into the new menu alongside Sid's own innovative fare.

The Sahrawats are confident that the new menu will appeal to long-time patrons and new customers alike. The French Cafe's classic beetroot and goat's cheese tart will be referenced in a new dish, while a confit duck leg creation will be cooked the same way as before, but with flavours from Sid's repertoire. With the Sahrawats' other fine dining restaurant, Sidart, moving to formal Indian cuisine earlier this year, Sid has repurposed popular dishes from the old menu. Diners can also expect other new dishes such as pomme soufflé, smoked yoghurt, onion and kale or scampi with leek, lovage and spruce or aged fillet of beef, charred parsnip, goat's curd and cavolo nero, to name a few.

While Sid will be at the helm of the restaurant, he will also be supported by The French Cafe's existing staff as well as long-time colleague Lesley Chandra, who has assumed the role of executive chef. It will be business as usual with the same opening hours and pricing and menu options (degustation, vegetarian and a la carte).

Images: Josh Griggs.

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