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Wow. Superb. Dining at Sidart yesterday was one of the BEST meal experiences of my life. We had the ten-course tasting menu with PERFECT wine matching.
It was my birthday dinner, and what a perfect way to spend an evening with my husband, celebrating ME! LOL I can’t say enough about it. Every course perfect, one of my favourites was the John Dory dish… and the dessert with licorice and raspberries was sex on a plate. Seriously good.
I am so glad we had the wine matching as well, because the pre-dessert of blue cheese ice cream and other deliciousness was SUPERB with the wine, though I can’t help but wonder if it may have been slightly overwhelming without it.
What a special treat it was to have the chefs come out from time to time actually serve our dishes to us with accompanying explanations of their craft. Very humble and gracious they were too. It was my pleasure to compliment them at the end of our meal, and the accessibility to the kitchen made this easy to do.
Service was impeccable, the food and wine knowledge awe-inspiring, and very unobtrusive. Although the room was small and somewhat sparse, it served to enhance the feeling of intimacy, and I didn’t feel intrusive of others at all, nor intruded upon myself.
You MUST put this place on your bucket list.
If you haven’t been yet, please go. You will not regret it.
Great, great, one of the best experiences in Auckland, small and intimate. Will definitely come back to enjoy the dishes I didn’t try.
You run after chicks, but you sometimes don’t get them. It’s okay, it happens. Moreover, the wise say that if you wait and plot smartly, the chicks may voluntarily venture into your coop. But I knew that neither the chicks nor the ostrich nor the deer nor the wasabi caviar nor the fired almonds nor the artichoke ice-cream of Sidart restaurant would come anywhere near me unless I staked out my space there. A dozen failed attempts at reservation last December,and after a couple this year (the determined know that New Year resolutions remain the same) ,by a minor miracle I found myself sitting in Sidart’s compactly elegant dining room that is coloured by dark brown, biege and off-white, and whose post-meridian windows looked out over a bed of home roofs,distant foliage, long fly-overs and storied buildings in the yonder. First gear slid in, by virtue of a wonderfully smooth and delicious Nevis Bluff oak aged Pinot Gris 2010. The bread was solidly French in its textured but pliant character, and partnered with a luxurious quenelle of oyster cream.
Senor Sid personally delivered the first course- an admirably democratic departure from the seclusionist tradition of his colleagues elsewhere. An exquisitely escalating piano played softly through the piped music when this was presented -and the food mirrored this pattern with its enchanting mango creme, purple celeriac ribbon,spiced peanuts and what-not all conspiring on a coddled but worthy heir to these treatments- Kingfish tartare. This dish also reflects how the associates here can sometimes elbow out the main player. Its successor promptly reversed this concern- again there were half a dozen accoutrements on the plate but the roasted cylinder of soft polenta rode through all of these like a smoothly whirring sedan. I gazed around at the dining room filled to capacity, with each and every diner having the same 5 course menu -the only meal on offer for Friday lunch here.It is priced at $50 all inclusive for its five courses- which struck me as the very definition of spanking good value. The pre-main was a base of creme fraiche mounted with a frolic of textures – the Asian staple of rice is engineered into the international snack of Crispies; Carrots are grabbed, shaved into resplendent scarves and persuaded into purees, and if you crave aromatic crunch too, this is kindly supplied by crumbles of brown butter.
On the table was a water glass that curved sideways, like the refracted version of reality that Sidart aspires for. Like his nouvelle cuisine brethren the globe over, Sahrawath passes the traditional French cookery model through his magic machine and out comes an altered algorithm of restaurant food. Instead of au naturelle shapes, we get ribbons,sculpted slabs, crackers-’n'-cremes and flavours delivered in five-in-one blends. He thinks nothing of depositing chorizo, wasabi foam and sly bits of sesame laddoo on the same plate and asking them to be friends. What came next that afternoon was the softest breast of chicken that I’ve ever eaten – if everyone started cooking this bird as tenderly as Sidart does, it would soon go the way of the Moa. This visually ravishing dish was elegantly accessorized with bold emulsions of water-cress and squid ink.
Service was excellent and paid attention to detail; my hostess Amanda sported a perfect mix of cool professionalism and youthful charm.As an able finisher, cardamom cream brought sudden sharply redolent memories of temple offerings in India, and the rest of the dessert plate was also sanctified by a delightful pear sorbet, a confident hit of choco mousse all of which you could complement with petite cubes of butter bread. I didn’t expect too much from this compact meal, but afterwards it had to undeniably admitted that this is high-wire cooking, charged with a most pleasant electricity.I dare to hope that the Test Kitchen and Ten-course extravaganzas will eclipse the formidable caliber of this lunch. No stranger to much lengthier repasts, I can say that this meal was only five courses long, and additionally limited by the merciful edicts expected from lunch as opposed to full-on dinners, and yet Chef Sahrawath & Team composed what is the first outstanding restaurant meal of my NZ life.
Wow – this place is amazing i dont know how they havent won cuisine restaurant of the year having eaten at a few of the past winners – this place is better! Love the atmosphere – staff were really polite, friendly and helpfull but not overly so just right. Every dish was delicious i still dream about the chocolate desert I had. I would highly reccommend Sidart to anyone who likes fine dining. Prefect treat makes me wish i lived in Auckland!
Actually dined way back in December 31 2010 but if it is still anything like it was then… wow! Very memorable, five-course ‘degustation’. Decor-wise a bit ‘cold’/clinical/wintery for me, and presence of other diners was a bit too ‘obvious’, it made me feel quite self-conscious – maybe there needed to be more music to fill up the space… but the quality of food, the matching wines, the service… takes it up into the stratosphere for me, and maybe these minor quibbles have been resolved by now.
Last week we dined at Sidart, hosted our Australian colleague, boy it was super. The service, food presentation, flavors and wine matching was top-class – if there was a Michelin star award in NZ, Sidart will qualify. Keep up the standard and we will return. Thanks
Birthday dinner was a varied experience at Sidart. Saturday night, and the place was generously packed – perhaps 2 tables free. There was a centre table of 4 in the middle of the restaurant, which proved to be the bane of the rest of the diners for the entire evening. A bunch of young arrogant over-achieving medical registrars, one of which insisted on spending the entire evening baying at the top of his lungs pronouncing on all matter of patient problems – the final straw was when he guffawed “and I said I’m SURE that you didn’t get that gonorrhoea infection on your penis from a BLOW JOB!!” haw haw haw.. indeed sir, and that’s when we decided to leave – fortunately after the last course of the 10-course tasting menu.
It was a mixed bag – The amuse bouche augured well for the evening, a mouth and texture treat of salmon and avocado – both of which I personally despise – but Sidart had concocted something superb from this over-used pairing. The monkfish was acceptable, and the next course of trevally was, unfortunately very dry. The quail was the highlight of the courses – complex but well balanced – and this brings me to the problem with Sidart: Balance and editing. For example, the next dish of ostrich w/ coffee, haloumi and licorice – the schmear of which tipped the balance of the dish into the – well – distasteful. Perhaps it’s my unrefined palate, but SOMEONE needs to let Sid know that there is a preponderance of ingredients on the plate, all of which may not necessarily need to be there. Editing. That’s not to say that we won’t be back there soon. The creativity and flair on display in Sidart’s food is worthy of a another visit – just not with loud mouths around.
Went for the Tuesday Test Kitchen with a group of friends. Didn’t quite know what to expect but was extremely happy with the quality of food and service. The 8-course degustation menu was truly artistic! The flavour combinations were out of the world. The service was fantastic too. We had a vegetarian at the table, however they seamlessly catered to that. Overall the evening was perfect! Will surely go back.
OK – let’s start from the beginning. The walk in through the Three Lamps Arcade at the bottom end of Ponsonby Rd is ordinary and , to be honest , the ambiance of the restaurant is lacking. Service, from the start , though , was friendly and knowledgeable and that made up for the fairly sterile environment. What was even better was the food. This is creative, thoughtful, brilliantly executed cuisine at its best. There is a molecular element involved but the flavour and textural elements just work ! This is Auckland’s “must go” restaurant at the moment. Don’t miss it.
Went to Sidart for the first time for a Tuesday Test Kitchen meal (8 courses for $80) last night. I was worried it would be too experimental for my liking but was plesantly surprised by the flavour combinations. Not a single bubble or foam, unlike the meal we had at The Grove when Sid was head chef there.
Before the meal, we were served crusty bread and whipped butter flavoured with leek ash, which was delicious, if mildly alarming.
The rest of the meal was likewise unusual, but tastefully so. Some components had an intense, concentrated flavour, for instance the compressed watermelon and spinach puree, while we had trouble discerning the others, such as the wasabi in the wasabi marshmallows, or samphire which appeared to have been battered and fried.
Although everything was well prepared and presented, this is not a meal I would have every day. Quite apart from the fact that 3 hours is a long time for a weeknight meal, there was a bit too much of a sweet component to the main courses overall, with the watermelon and marshmallows, other fruit, carrot and beetroot, and even a black sesame macaron (filled with goat’s curd), before the two dessert courses at the end. Thank goodness they do not serve cocktails!
I’m not normally a fan of modernist cuisine, but overall this was a novel and well cooked meal at a reasonable price. Would return on occasion.
I had dinner here last night and it was just perfect. The food couldn’t have been any better, being Vegan the chef made me a special dish and the staff were just fantastic!
Now my favourite restaurant in Auckland!!
A group of three of us had the 5 course “Friday Special” lunch degustation menu. The combination of unusual flavour and texture pairings really worked; the highlight for me was the beautifully cooked lamb with cauliflower puree and porcini mushrooms – it just melted in my mouth. Service was attentive without being over the top, but I felt the restaurant lacked a little bit of atmosphere through both the relatively cold colour scheme and the fact it was mostly empty of patrons. I think this special lunch menu is very good value for money compared with other fine dining restaurants offering similar degustation menues, but with portions being on the very small side, you are left wanting a bit more. I’ll be back to try the dinner a la carte menu.
My number one choice in the whole of Auckland
This restaurant gets everything right. Love the electric blue banquets and cozy ambiance.
Service impeccable with knowledgable staff who sing about the merits and composition of each glass of wine or plate or food that they present to you
The chef is a culinary master who’s palette can not be rivaled. This is serious food, extreme hard work and hours of thought and preparation have gone into each dish. I am not an emotional person and at the culmination of my meal this food literally brought tears to my eyes!!!
Wonderful, amazing, sensory experience.
went for the degustation lunch and a really nice environment with good food and great staff – can’t believe no one else grabbed the space years ago
Sidart is a stand-out restaurant if you are a real foodie. Most dishes play on the sweet/salty combination and are quite delightful. You will find absolutely innovative tastes and combinations on every plate. I’m game to try anything and have mainly been impressed by the food but sometimes geniuses get it wrong….the Roquefort cheesecake is a bit of a mistake, with the truffle oil being just a step too far. I will definitely be back for more. Sidart is, in my opinion, possibly the most exciting restaurant in Auckland with fantastic, enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. Well done
Amazing, amazing food! Definitely get the 4 course al a carte menu-you’ll want to try alot!
Highly recommend the cured salmon and the duck-both delicious.
Service is fantastic, warm and not over done.
Apartment-esque room with a great view creates an intimate setting.
Keen for a second visit!
Yes all the reviews are spot on, this is an outstanding restaurant to say the least. Only The French Cafe can rival it’s culinary kaleidoscope of flavours and delightful surprises as a dining experience. The food was so good I almost forgot about my wine – which is unusual. While the entrees at French Cafe might be slightly larger in portion, they are just as brilliant.
I would recommend the degustation for this reason, whereas at The French Cafe or Merediths it’s often too much.
Service was nothing short of impeccable and professional.
This place is absolutely AMAZING!! It is a privileged to dine here. Had Tasting Menu, best 5hrs I had ever spent. The food was beautiful and taste sensational! And service is the best in town!! Room is small but it adds to the special feel of the place and what a view.
You truly feel privileged to dine here!!
Recommend to one and all.
Absolutely Superb! We cannot rate Sidart highly enough. We have had 2 visits, and both have been thoroughly impressed by the exquisite food and fantastic service. There is not a restaurant in Ponsonby that comes close to it, and gives the other top restaurants in Auckland a good run for their money.
Wonderful flavors and service
One of my favorite places
Can’t rave enough about this exceptional little restaurant. From the plush turquoise seating to the works of art delivered on a plate, Sidart provided one the best Akld dining experiences I’ve had in a very long time. The atmosphere is intimate & luxurious, quality of food & combination of tastes outstanding, and care & attention to “service” phenomenal. I will definitely be returning to experience the tasting menu. An enriching and memorable dining experience.
The food was glorious, the staff professional and friendly and the atmosphere was warm and comfortable. Double thumbs up from both Hubby and myself!!! Ohhhhh, to go back…..
I now understand the name.
My meal was absolutely exquisite. I expected good presentation but it was more than that,the food was just beautiful!! it was indeed art and bursting with flavour.
I highly recommend sidart to dine out on a high class evening.
Sublime, sublime, sublime. Fantastic food and service. Places like Ant… in Parnell pales in insignificance when compared to the unbelievably divine dining experience here.
All 5 of my friends said that this was the best place they’ve been to. We all had the degustation menu and totally vouch for this place. Definitely will go back.
Sidart is really for those that love eating out and are prepared to go on a culinary journey. Food like any other craft at it’s best becomes an art form, and that’s certainly the aim here.
Sidart is a new restaurant in Ponsonby recently, opened by a brilliant and former head chef of the “The Grove”.
The quality and creativity of the cooking together with attentive and genuine service is clearly first class. I can’t begin to explain the food only to say we really enjoyed everything and totally loved one or two courses in particular the venison.
The owners have kept prices realistic and within reach for many for both food and wine. Like any small intimate and new restaurant it will need followers who appreciate it.
As always my wife and I ask ourselves one question: Would we go back? Sidart is an exceedingly good restaurant already, as it evolves, learns more about it’s customers it will develop into one of News Zealand’s best, very quickly.
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