Sid & Chand Sahrawat photo credit Josh Griggs

The French Café officially changed ownership at the beginning of September with leading restaurateurs Sid and Chand Sahrawat given the keys to the famed Symonds St fine dining establishment on September 3.

Now renamed Sid at The French Café, it joins the Sahrawats’ other award-winning restaurants, Sidart in Ponsonby and Cassia in the CBD.Taking over the reins of The French Café from previous owners Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright, Sid says he and Chand are well aware of the 35-year legacy they’re inheriting.

“The French Café has been an Auckland icon for many years now, and we’re really excited about being the new caretakers of this jewel in the city’s fine dining crown,” he says.

“We know we’ve got really big shoes to fill here, but we’re looking forward to that challenge.”

With the restaurant’s menu changing from Tuesday, September 18, diners will soon be able enjoy what’s being described as the perfect marriage of old and new, with nods to The French Café’s famous favourites sitting alongside the innovative fare Sid’s other restaurants are known for.

The flavours of the famous beetroot and goat’s cheese tart that was a classic on the The French Café’s old menu, for example, will be referenced in a new dish, while a confit duck leg creation will see the duck cooked in the same way as before, but married with flavours from Sid’s repertoire.

With the Sahrawats’ other fine dining restaurant, Sidart, moving to a progressive Indian cuisine earlier this year, Sid has also repurposed popular dishes from Sidart’s old menu and is ready to give them new life at Sid at the French Café.

Lamb with walnut, fenugreek and turnip – photo credit Josh Griggs

Diners can expect other new dishes with Sid’s signature creative flair, too, 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.

Sid says the updated menu will appeal to long-time patrons of both The French Café and Sidart, as well as new customers.

“We’re looking forward to creating these reinvented classics for loyal French Café customers, as well as delighting the diners who’ve grown to love the ever-changing contemporary cuisine at Sidart,” he says.

While Sid will be at the helm of the restaurant, he will also be supported by The French Café’s excellent existing staff, as well as long-time colleague Lesley Chandra, has assumed the role of executive chef.

And it will be business as usual, with Sid at The French Café sticking with the same opening hours i.e. Tuesdays through Saturdays for dinner and lunch on Fridays with bookings available for the restaurant, private cellar and The French Kitchen. All pricing and menu options (degustation, vegetarian and a la carte) also remain the same.

For the full menu and more information, go to




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