Hospitality Business Magazine

Fine dining showcases NZ ingredients on the Sidart menu

Iconic fine dining restaurant Sidart in Ponsonby has a new ‘Series’ menu for the new year, increasing the number of dishes being served and showcasing even more of the sensational ingredients and produce grown in Aotearoa.

Owned and operated by chef Lesley Chandra, the Ponsonby institution is offering three ‘Series’ menu options, all of which use contemporary cooking techniques to create small, artfully formed morsels for an elevated dining experience.

Blackfoot Paua & Macadamia. Photo credit Alex McVinnie photography

The Mini Series (9 Parts), Extended Series (12 Parts), and Complete Series (16 Parts) range in price from $160 to $210 per person and can be enjoyed over 90 minutes to three hours of exceptional dining.

The updated tasting menus include three drinks pairing choices, all carefully selected to complement the dishes by Sidart’s sommelier and restaurant manager, Joe Costello.

There are local or international options including wine, whiskey, and sake, as well as a rare and unique pairing, showcasing a selection of wines from at home and abroad, chosen from Sidart’s cellar list.

Diners will find a glimpse of Pacific flavours on both the menu and beverage list, in a nod to Chandra’s early childhood in Fiji. This includes the cocktail list, where a cava cocktail made with cava root liqueur and topped with Bollinger champagne can be found.

While the menu changes depending on the availability of produce, diners can expect finely crafted dishes across the snack, savoury, and sweet categories each day. Snacks include a selection of bites including the divine Crispy blackberry meringue with duck liver mousse and olive praline; Fish & Chips, a potato tartlet with smoked trevally and green strawberry tartar; a Vintage Waikato Gouda beignet, with charcoal and a Te Matuku Oyster with custard, wakame and daikon.

Savoury menu options include Charcoal-seared scampi with unripe peach, apple, kaffir lime and red curry sauce made from deglazed scampi head; Raw Wagyu beef with pickled butternut in elderflower, salmon roe, pumpkin seed, charcoal cream, and Fijian taro shards.

Market fish.

There is also the Dry aged duck breast with spiced date sauce, blood orange oil, and hazelnut and the Blackfoot pāua from the Wairarapa, with brown butter macadamia, sweetcorn espuma and fig leaf powder.

Sweet treats for the end of the meal include Whey sorbet, green gooseberry, and spruce oil; Elderflower sorbet with pine nut purée, elderflower financier and raspberry and the decadent Fijian dark chocolate, porcini cream and pickled cherry.

Beyond the exceptional tasting menus, Sidart also offers options for those who don’t have time for a full tasting experience, or simply want to enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner digestif.

Guests can sit at the bar, enjoy the view of the Auckland city skyline, and sip on expertly crafted cocktails featuring ingredients used throughout the Series menu paired with delicious canapés for $75 for two guests.

Chandra says he’s excited by the new Series menu and the direction the restaurant is taking.

“Our team enjoys innovating new concepts using New Zealand’s amazing produce and we’ve worked hard trialling these new dishes,” he says.

“We’ve had great feedback on this Series menu and can’t wait to share it with our diners in 2023.”

Sidart is one of seven New Zealand restaurants to make the La Liste Top 1000 restaurants this year, with a score of 89.5 out of a possible 100.

The two hatted restaurant is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and for lunch on Saturdays. Bookings are essential. Most dietary requirements are catered to but must be advised at the time of booking.