210 Symonds Street,
(09) 377 1911
French Cafe Information
Still considered to be one of Auckland’s top restaurants, The French Café, in Grafton, Auckland, offers award-winning French cuisine in a sophisticated setting.
Lunch: Fri only
Dinner: Tue - Sat: 18:00 till late
Essential on Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
Avg Food Spend
$$$$ per person
A La Carte Menu
Wine from $52.00 per bottle
Private outdoor area
Best Drinks List - 2012 Metro
Metro Top 50 - 2012
Best Service - 2012 Metro
Best Service 2007: Josselin Matthew Aitchison - Metro
Best Formal Restaurant 2007 – Metro
Simon Wright: Most Outstanding Chef 2006 - Lewisham Award
Metro Restaurant of the Year Supreme Winner 2005 & 2006 – Metro
Best Fine Dining Restaurant & Peoples Choice Restaurant 2005 & 2006 – Metro
Restaurant of the Year 2004 – Metro
Restaurant of the Year 2004 – Viva
Simon Wright: Most Outstanding Chef 2003 - Lewisham Award
Wheelchair Access, NO Disabled Toilets
Can I just say this was the best Fine Dining experience ever!
I have had my fair share of fine dining experience and this topped the charts! What an amazing place.
I am a fussy eater, I love my Lamb, Chicken and...that's about it. However, coming to this place was a wonderful game changer for me. It was delicious servings of food. You have choice of a Set Menu or Al la Carte Menu. My group chose the Al la carte menu. We chose an Entree, Main. In between Entree and Main we received small surprises of finger foods while we waited for our meals. Quail was an amazing dish! Lamb also very nice, had lobster as an entre! I gotta say this was a surprise to me, because I don't eat seafood and decided to try it out... Guess what! It was yummy!
Wonderful Service, especially working under pressure on a busy thursday night... the waiters not only kept their cool, but kept us well entertained! A truly enjoyable night!
Welcome to the new French Kitchen, private dining in an open kitchen, opened in early December 2012 by Owner & Chef Simon Wright. Numerous awards for "Best Restaurant".
We were greeted warmly by two excellent waiting staff before we sat down and got in the spirit of our forthcoming six-course degustation with matching wines mostly from France. And it was fantastic that one of the waiting staff being that he was fresh over from France and could pronounce all those wines beautifully.
The whole experience of watching Simon and his sous Chef cook just for our group of 20 was the best. It was nice standing around with our glass of wine whilst asking them questions and feeling really spoilt.
Our courses consisted of Marinated Tuna with shaved scallop, apple jelly, crème fraiche and caviar which was prettiness on a plate and so fresh.
Then caramelised onion broth with braised oxtail and truffle frech toast which was the best onion soup I've ever had.
Seared Langoustine, pork belly, carrots and gingerbread. Interesting and tasty.
Egg yolk ravioli with smoked potato, peas, parmesan and iberico ham was my least favourite of the dishes as the ravioli had a weird consistency.
The main was boneless lamb with parsnip cream, forest mushrooms, leeks and pancetta – my fav dish of the night and oh so generous!
For dessert, great for us sweet tooths – a sublime Toffee apple, baked custard, broken pastry, sultanas and white chocolate powder. Very much a deconstructed dessert.
The thing with dining at the French Cafe is this: you can't quite figure out how everything ends up so perfect, because it all looks and feels effortless.
We spent a pretty penny and could have done with a little more wine for the price as there was only 100ml per course and the wines were all so enjoyable to just have a swig. I think this is defintely a special occasion restaurant but I would buy by the glass next time I go.
After far too long in Auckland hearing (and reading) of other lucky diners tasting experiences at The French Cafe I finally got to experience (and it is an experience) the French Cafe for myself last weekend.
Undoubtedly one of Auckland's very best in every facet and there were far too many highlights to mention but a special mention must go to the boneless lamb rack ... oh man, what flavours!
Know I've experienced the French Cafe for myself, everywhere else will pale in comparison!
The French Cafe is simply the best. Stunning food, brilliant service. My partner and I went for our anniversary and were treated to an amazing meal, great wine service and a beautiful evening.
We dine on a regular basis both in Auckland and elsewhere, The French Cafe is the best by far!
I've passed the French Cafe on my way to work (I walk most days) for many many years and always wanted to have a meal there. Finally after all this time I had a lunch there for my 50th birthday....absolutely wonderful experience, food and wine. The French Cafe might have alot of environmental dirt floating around on its busy Symonds Street locale but inside its a little paradise.
We ventured to French Cafe as a group of 10 for a celebration. On the negative side - French Cafe is not especially private or cosy, the prices are very high, and some prices are just not given/offered - eg non alcoholic drinksBut, on the bright side - the food was amazing, we had the 6 course meal and I couldn't eat it all - but tried very hard! The service was awesome, our main waiter was consistent, helpful and suggested menu changes for the pregnant, allergic and fussy among us - menu changes which were yummy, easily adapted and generous. I would return to French Cafe for another event - but really feel like i've been there now and can tick it off my list.
So many people rave about the French Cafe. My partner took me there for my birthday. It was one of the best culinary experiences in NZ. The dishes are sophisticated and delicious, and, most importantly, it is easy to upsize your starter and downsize your main, so they are flexible as well. Just one little thing - open space dining room was not exactly my cup of tea. If you are looking for something really romantic, it is better to either ask for a table in the second dining room or go somewhere else. But if you are into vibrant places, French Cafe will be perfect. Highly recommend and will definitely be back.
I'm sure the French Cafe is good. I really am. I've heard some very well fed foodies go on about it. And most of them good cooks too. But.... We did the gustation menu a few weeks ago and it was a shocker. I'm not a big fan of tasting menus i admit. Too much foam, not enough substance. They are, therefore designed to generate taste. There wasn't much of it going around that night. What really broke my heart was the bad wine. I would go back but not until they change the cold drab decor. French??? If you like tasting menus go to Meredith's.
Last year finally I made it to French Cafe. I always wanted to try Tasting menu... I could hardly move after that....Next time, I'd rather have two course meal and leave the place just satisfied.. I eat a lot but it was too much... but worth trying!!!I wish there were more warm dishes than cold dishes in tasting menu and not everything so sweet.... I prefer savory flavour than sweet and I wasn't fully satisfied with wine matching but Just my own opinion... some people might say they were totally matched with food....Over all I highly recommend!!!
I've heard how hard it is to book the French Cafe - supposedly you have to book 3 months in advance - specially at xmas. I walked in one afternoon and booked for 3 weeks later (mid dec). This place is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. The service is the right level of attentiveness and invisibility. We were given an Amuse bouche of Asparagus Soup and prawn balls to start: incredibly tasty. We then had Squid and Lamb Pate for starters - again the most amazing taste and texture. The mains (bluenose and steak) were similarly mind-blowing with their flavour combinations and amazing presentation. We finished off with a chocolate trio which had a wide range of deep flavours including, our favourite, orange chocolate.
There is no doubt about it, the French Cafe IS Auckland's best restaurant - I went there last Friday and was again totally blown away by the level of service (fast, efficient, explained everything on the menu without patronising you) and the food was exceptional. Most definitely recommended!
So now you know, if you visit Auckland, don’t forget to reserve (at least two weeks in advance) for a great dinner.
"The French Café" — In the fashionable shop fronts of Auckland’s upper Symonds Street, opaque glass windows conceal the promise of the epicurean experience that awaits you.
The best tables of the restaurant are on the first floor, in the long room, especially the last two ones in the room for a "tête-à-tête" dinner. For a party of four or six you can ask that the two tables be joined. If you don’t like the plush banquette rooms, the back room that is light, airy and busy can be your other choice.
If you don’t like a lengthy meal, please ask your waiter or the Maitre D’ for it. If not, it's customary to wait around 20 to 25 minutes between each course.
In 2005 & 2006, I tried different dishes from the menu. This year, my choice was the "Tasting Menu" — priced at around NZ$ 100.00 A very interesting experience, so you have the possibility to sample the best on the menu— although, it's true that for chef Simon Wright's cooking is almost impossible to fault. "Some people never experience tastes as good as Wright's cooking at any other time in their lifetime."
And I love the service – friendly, comfortable and constant. It’s typical of the attention to detail at The French Café by the dedicated owners, Creghan and her chef husband Simon Wright.
The French Cafe is one of Auckland's best restaurants and deservedly so. The service is faultless, the food fabulous and fresh. The whole experience was well worth every hard earnt penny because you do need a few to dine there!!
I totally agree with your reviewer Graham Reid - you expect the best from The French Cafe and that is exactly what you get! The service is perfect, the food superb and the overall experience one to repeat as many times as you can afford!
Went with friends after hearing how good it was meant to be and it was wonderful food and service.
Without a doubt the best restaurant in Auckland - and with that the hardest to get a table, so book early. I've been here a couple of times now and never been disappointed with either the service or the quality of the food.
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