If you are looking for an exquisite, fine-dining experience with service and a setting like no other, then you really must consider Sid at The French Café 

Sid at The French Café is run in partnership between a husband and wife team, Sid Sahrawat, executive chef and Chand Sahrawat the operations manager. There really is no other place like it for a special wedding or event. It’s elevated but inviting. The food is phenomenal and each dish, so lovely made and intricate (though still substantial) is like an edible art form. We simply cannot say enough wonderful things about this exceptional location and the people who make it what it is.

If you are thinking of Sid at The French Café  as a location for your wedding you have many options. The location is made up of a range of rooms and settings including an enclosed courtyard, a private dining room, a wine cellar and the main dining room. Choose the space that best suits your mood and number. Or if its a larger wedding you are planning, you can talk with Chand and Sid about combining areas. So much is possible.

Our editor Greta was lucky enough to photograph and sample some of the season new menu dishes, see imagery below and find out more from Sid and Chand about what makes Sid at The French Café  so special…

How many weddings do you host each year? 

12- 14 weddings each year,  more during the Summer wedding season but we are seeing more Autumn and Winter weddings too as the restaurant courtyard is so beautiful, even in winter with the fire and winter garden.

What does SATFC offer couples that is unique from other locations?

The restaurant offers a more intimate setting for a wedding, it is an oasis in the middle of what is, a very busy city. Being so central it makes it easy for guests and suppliers to get to the venue and last-minute fixes are just that much easier to manage. The front of the restaurant is so unassuming so the guests get a real surprise when they walk through to find a private venue and beautiful courtyard hidden behind the street façade.

Can you explain the types of weddings you can hold?

We can cater for large weddings using all our different rooms for up to 120 guests. Our cellar is an intimate space for the immediate bridal party to have rehearsal dinners or pre wedding/ post wedding cocktails and canapés.

Most weddings take place in the courtyard; with its fireplace and fountains it’s the perfect spot for the actual ceremony and cocktails/canapés after the ceremony.

The French Kitchen is perfect for smaller weddings of up to 36 guests, it has its own open plan kitchen so it’s the ideal venue for a wedding reception.

We can offer the entire restaurant for hire or just The French Kitchen and courtyard to work with whatever the couple have in mind for their special day. The restaurant is versatile and can be hired for day ceremonies with lunch after the ceremony or for evening ceremonies followed by a sit-down dinner.

Please tell us about your new menu and your favourite dishes for weddings and events? 

Our menu is very seasonal and influenced by what is available at the time locally. We try and source as much as we can from local suppliers and grow a lot of produce at the restaurant and in partnership with community gardens. Our kitchen prides itself in being sustainable with the produce in every aspect. Our new winter menu features entrees like kingfish, macadamia, finger lime and daikon and venison tartare, beetroot, cashew, and onions. For mains, we have new dishes like the beef short rib, black garlic, red wine and we have revamped an old French Café classic the Confit duck leg, kumara with orange and ginger that is proving to be a big hit with the regular guests. Our wedding guests often go for the canapé menu as well to start their events so the truffle shiitake broth with Jerusalem artichokes and lovage is an absolute favourite, being so rich and comforting for this cold weather.

Are you able to create customised dishes or drinks for couples (A unique wedding cocktail or dish?)

Yes, we have a great team of chefs and a talented bartender who are willing to work with any of the couple’s requirements to create bespoke menus, drinks, and experiences. Our reservations manager has more than 14 years of experience in managing events like weddings in the space and often spends hours working with the wedding planner to ensure everything runs smoothly on the day.

Advice for couples who are choosing their dream location and menu? 

Sometimes it may seem that choosing a restaurant is not the first choice for your wedding, but restaurants actually are used to managing events effectively on a regular basis. As long as you can advise the restaurant of your guests’ dietary restrictions, the chefs can create bespoke dishes to meet the needs of all the guests in your party. The advantage of choosing a restaurant for your wedding or reception is the ease of getting to the venue for you and your guests, its proximity to hotels and other suppliers. Work ahead with your photographer and wedding planner and do a couple of recces of the venue so you know how the space works for your needs and how you can translate your vision into the space and use it to its maximum potential.

How have you adapted and innovated to life over lockdown?

Yes, the lockdown has meant that we needed to move quickly to pivot our existing models. We have always been a dine-in only restaurant and we take a lot of pride in our intricate food and superior service. We started offering takeaways because for the first time our guests could not come to us and we thought it was only right that in these hard times we offer them a bit of comfort through our food in their own home. It was wonderful to do deliveries to all our regular guests in Level 3 and see them excited to see us. We are continuing with takeaways as so many guests are still uncomfortable coming out, or simply want to recreate the Sid at The French Café experience in their own homes.

Thank you to Sid + Chand for creating such an impressive and memorable restaurant and space.

You may remember the stunning wedding of Ashley and Nic photographed by Chasewild which was in print in a recent issue of Together Journal. Link here to see Sid at the French Cafe as a wedding setting.

Portraits of Sid + And by Josh Griggs
Fashion editorial by Bayly & Moore
Food Photography by Greta Kenyon

Website: Sid at The French Café

Note: Sid + Chand also own and run the remarkable Sidart and Cassia Restaurants.

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