French Cafe

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16 reviews
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210 Symonds Street,
Grafton
Auckland,
1010

(09) 377 1911

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Reviewer shapur14
17/04/2014
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!
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5/08/2013
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.
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Reviewer SuzieC
12/06/2013
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!
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Reviewer TaneNui
6/01/2013
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!
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Reviewer maryod
26/04/2012
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.
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Reviewer kellynz
21/07/2011
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.
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Reviewer Gauma
13/07/2011
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.
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Reviewer linzgray
23/02/2011
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.
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