Venue Image
Level 1, Three Lamps Plaza,
283 Ponsonby Road,
Ponsonby
Auckland,
1010

(09) 360 2122

The ViewAuckland Review

StarStarStarStarStar
Review byBrett Atkinson5/10/2009

The owners of The Grove in St Patrick’s Square have a lot to answer for. And it’s all good. The central city restaurant seems to have a particular knack for mentoring and developing some of the best chefs in the country. Firstly, Michael Meredith left to launch his own restaurant in Dominion Rd in late 2007, and now recent Grove alumnus Sid Sahrawat has opened Sidart in Ponsonby.

Like Meredith’s low key location off the radar in Balmoral, Sidart is tucked away upstairs in the heritage space of the Three Lamps Plaza. It’s a compact space, but made both elegant and slightly funky with the combination of leather seats and banquettes, and the stylised Kiwiana-inspired art of Rachael Foster. Clever design also incorporates a small bar near the entrance, and huge picture windows give expansive views onto the CBD’s mini-Manhattan.

Like Michael Meredith, Sid Sahrawat enjoys a stellar reputation around town – he was named NZ’s Outstanding Chef in 2007 – and the restaurant is bustling on a wet Wednesday night just two weeks after opening. Like Michael Meredith, Sid Sahrawat also delights in confidently combining ingredients that may appear polar opposites. Carol’s entrée of Seared Scallops with Farmed Rabbit and a carrot puree, ginger and cucumber ($22) is gossamer-light, with the diverse flavours revealing themselves elegantly and methodically. My entree of crisp ostrich rolled in miso with a ginger and soy puree ($22) is a sly and subtle twist on sushi.

Sidart kicked off with a two-day soft launch, and a well-practised start is evident in the service. Wait staff are very knowledgeable on the ingredient-heavy menu, and service from the kitchen is at just the right pace. With glasses of Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc and Summerhouse Chardonnay, we move onto our mains, and are soon comparing the food at Sidart with Meredith’s. Both chefs are simultaneously technical and playful, and Sid Sahrawat is providing another masterclass in some of Auckland’s finest dining.

My Roasted Terakihi ($35) – cooked slowly and delicately in the sous-vide style – is served with green peas, fennel and potato gnocchi. The fish is topped with two prawns wrapped in salty pancetta, and I’m pretty confident I’ve ordered the right dish off the concise menu. Carol’s Duck ($35) is served two ways with tender breast meat bookending a roll made of darker meat and teamed with vanilla and rhubarb. A delicate jug of Chocolate Consomme served on the side adds a further innovative touch.

Sidart’s concise menu features just a handful of desserts, and we share a Chocolate Marquise served with data puree and banana ice cream ($15). The bittersweet flavours are impressive and end a great meal on a bold and bracing note. I guess next stop should now be back to The Grove to see how new chef Benjamin Bayly is maintaining the high standards set by his illustrious predecessors.




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SidArt has been reviewed by 8 users
 

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