Restaurateurs Sid and Chand Sahrawat have made a seamless transition into their latest acquisition, the much-loved Auckland institution, The French Café. The dining room and menu have undergone subtle tweaks but many of the front-of-house staff are still here including restaurant manager Simon Benoit and sommelier Hiro Kawahara. The food remains uniformly excellent. There are dishes that nod to the genius of previous co-owner (chef Simon Wright) such as the confit duck with kūmara but, as the name change states, it’s Sid at the French Café now, and so, it is his food. Presentation is meticulous and the signature flourishes of Sahrawat’s cuisine are in play. Crisp skins of  buttermilk, wafers of celeriac or liquorice- meringue shards give no inkling as to what lies  beneath: you will need to tap, crack or shift to reveal the dish. This is food alchemy at its finest.

IN BRIEF Industry stalwarts redefine fine cuisine