Auckland icon The French Cafe sold to top restaurateurs

by Kate Richards / 23 May, 2018
Chand and Sid Sahrawat, left, will take over The French Cafe from Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright in September. Photo/Aaron McLean.

Chand and Sid Sahrawat, left, will take over The French Cafe from Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright in September. Photo/Aaron McLean.

RelatedArticlesModule - French cafe

The French Café owners sell the Auckland institution to Sid and Chand Sahrawat of Sidart and Cassia.

Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright, who’ve owned the Auckland-famous French Café for twenty years, have announced the sale of the restaurant to Metro restaurateurs of the year Sid and Chand Sahrawat (Cassia and Sidart). The restaurant will be renamed Sid at The French Café.

The Sahrawats won six categories at the Metro Restaurant of the Year Awards 2018, including the Supreme Award for Sidart, runner-up for their modern Indian restaurant Cassia, and the Best Chef category. The French Café was recognised as one of the world’s top restaurants by La Liste this year, and has been consistently recognised by Metro as one of Auckland’s most accomplished restaurants.

Creghan and Simon took over from Connie Clarkson at The French Café in 1999, when Creghan was only 24 and Simon 30. It is a testament to their skill as restaurateurs to have built a venue which has received such widespread national and international acclaim. The couple will formally stand down from September and temporarily move out of Auckland to spend time with their two children.

Sid and Chand say they’re thrilled to be taking over The French Café legacy, adding that the restaurant holds a particularly special place in their hearts. 

“Chand and I had our very first formal dining date at The French Café more than 15 years ago,” says Sid. “The meal we had on that occasion was spectacular – so much so, it inspired me to create the style of food I produce today. We’ve long had a deep love of The French Café, so to now be taking over its reins is a really exciting step for our business.”

The Sahrawats will step in from September, but before then their flagship restaurant Sidart will undergo a major menu transformation from the European-influenced food they’ve served for the past eight years, to fine dining Indian. The new menu will roll out from July 31st.

The couple’s modern Indian restaurant Cassia on Fort Lane will remain largely unchanged, and while Sid will initially focus his time on the kitchen at Sid at The French Café, he will split his time between all three restaurants after the transition is fully made. Research and Development chef Lesley Chandra will assume the role of head chef at Sid at The French Café. 

LatestDiningArticlesWidget - Latest Dining Articles with RestaurantHub
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Inside the close-knit community that lives along the Cromwell-Tarras Rd
102505 2019-02-19 00:00:00Z Travel

Inside the close-knit community that lives along t…

by Mike White

Mike White heads up the Cromwell-Tarras road to merino and wine country.

Read more
The stars of Luther talk about their return in season five
102486 2019-02-18 13:16:40Z Television

The stars of Luther talk about their return in sea…

by The Listener

Idris Elba, Ruth Wilson, Hermione Norris, Wunmi Mosaku and Michael Smiley answer questions about the future of the dark and disturbing crime drama.

Read more
Vital evidence in Pike River mine disaster missing, say families
102465 2019-02-18 09:22:49Z Planet

Vital evidence in Pike River mine disaster missing…

by RNZ

Some families of Pike River mine victims suspect a piece of vital evidence may have been spirited away by the mining company and lost.

Read more
It's time to empower the mayor and make Auckland liveable again
102432 2019-02-17 00:00:00Z Politics

It's time to empower the mayor and make Auckland l…

by Bill Ralston

Making Auckland a liveable city is an unenviable task, writes Bill Ralston, but it's clear the mayor needs more power.

Read more
Knight star: Sir Hec Busby on his extraordinary life
102328 2019-02-17 00:00:00Z Profiles

Knight star: Sir Hec Busby on his extraordinary li…

by Clare de Lore

Northland kaumātua, master carver, navigator and bridge builder Hec Busby was hoping for “no fuss” when he accepted a knighthood.

Read more
Keira Knightley shines in bodice-ripping period drama Colette
102397 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Movies

Keira Knightley shines in bodice-ripping period dr…

by James Robins

The story of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, a heroine of French literature, focuses on her early struggles.

Read more
Is barbecued meat bad for your health?
102255 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Is barbecued meat bad for your health?

by Jennifer Bowden

Sizzling meat on the barbecue is the sound and smell of summer, but proceed with caution.

Read more
March of the Algorithms: Who’s at the wheel in the age of the machine?
102434 2019-02-16 00:00:00Z Tech

March of the Algorithms: Who’s at the wheel in the…

by Jenny Nicholls

Complacently relying on algorithms can lead us over a cliff – literally, in the case of car navigation systems.

Read more