210 Symonds Street,
(09) 377 1911
The ViewAuckland Review
French Cafe, Grafton - Restaurant Review
A recent makeover has reinforced The French Cafe's reputation as a stylish dining destination. Art by renowned New Zealand artists Max Gimblett, Karl Maughan and Dale Frank provides warmth to the dramatic and sophisticated space, and the interior courtyard is a relaxed spot amid the bustle of Symonds St.
Subtle, discreet and very professional sums up The French Café’s service ethic, and while a few refined European accents always underpin the occasion, a quintessentially casual Kiwi vibe lingers.
Look forward to one of Auckland’s best and most surprising winelists with standout options from New Zealand and Australia, and a wide selection of French wines. New Zealand craft beers are well represented, and we can think of no better place for a celebratory glass of champagne.
Currently featuring their seasonal summer menu with standout dishes including the sophisticated simplicity of the entree of egg yolk with smoked potato, toasted rye, mushrooms, truffle and chicken broth ($22), and the fusion Asian flavours of crispy roast duckling with sweet spices with Asian greens, mandarin puree and kumara ($46). The restaurant's name may hint at dishes with Gallic touches, but the menu covers a far more eclectic range of international cuisines.
The Bottom Line
Auckland's restaurant scene has been transformed across recent years, but for a truly memorable experience The French Cafe – launched in the 1980s – still gets our strongest recommendation for a special occasion. Look forward to innovative food, exemplary service, and the bonus of a newly-renovated and dramatic interior.
A Reason To Return
Either as part of a larger group in The French Kitchen, a private dining space in an airy pavilion in the Cafe's courtyard, or to really sample the chefs' mastery with the six course tasting menu ($140).
French Cafe has been reviewed by 15 users