Cassia was awarded 2016 and 2017 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year, and gained Two Hats in the prestigious Cuisine Good Food Awards 2017; also winning Best Specialist Restaurant.
Sid & Chand Sahrawat – Chef & Owners
And the Sahrawat restaurant empire is set to expand in early September when Sid and his wife Chand add a third restaurant to their stable, with the acquisition of The French Café, to be renamed Sid at The French Café.
In 2014 Sid and wife Chand opened sophomore restaurant Cassia, a contemporary Indian offering in Fort Lane. The couple had a long-held desire to showcase their heritage through contemporary cuisine; Cassia was Auckland’s first restaurant to offer modern Indian dining.
At Cassia Sid marries his creative culinary skills with the traditional dishes he has grown up with in India – classic spice and flavour combinations reworked with contemporary and local New Zealand ingredients.
Environment & sustainability
In both restaurants, Sid sources only the freshest seasonal local produce. The exception is the Indian spices which he imports for his kitchens at Sidart and Cassia.
Sid uses produce from the garden to inspire him. Tended to by Chand, at home on Auckland’s North Shore in the warmer months she will grow plants such as anise hyssop which Sid might put it in a sorbet, rocket flowers and nasturtiums for garnish, courgette flowers for a vegetarian diner, fennel fronds for garnish, green strawberries and more.
There is also a worm farm, cultivated earlier this year to compost all kitchen scraps from both kitchens, as well as dead leaves and paper. The couple use the compost for the plants and the worm tea to fertilise plants in the garden as well as at Sidart. The concept is to compost as much as they can to be as sustainable and organic as they can.
Sid is joined by head chef Nishant Arora in the kitchen at Cassia. Laura Foolchand and Craig Lovie lead front of house. Since opening, Cassia has become well known for its eclectic cocktail and drinks list, masterminded by bar manager Prateek Arora.