Cassia was recently awarded 2017 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year for the second consecutive year, and gained Two Hats in the prestigious Cuisine Good Food Awards 2017; also winning Best Specialist Restaurant.
Sid & Chand Sahrawat – Chef & Owners
Sid Sahrawat is one of New Zealand's most exciting chefs; revered within the industry and among local and international diners for his innovative and inspirational cooking. In 2009 he opened SIDART, his dream fine dining restaurant in Three Lamps, Ponsonby, which has continued to grow from strength to strength and is highly acclaimed and awarded.
Cassia is a concept very close to the heart of both Sid and his wife Chand, who have always wanted to showcase their heritage through contemporary cuisine; now resulting in Auckland's first restaurant to offer modern Indian dining.
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.
Chand uses her business background to manage the operations of both Sidart and Cassia.
Sid is joined by head chef Alok Vasanth in the kitchen at Cassia. Matthew Aitchison leads front of house. Since opening, Cassia has become well known for its eclectic cocktail and drinks list, masterminded by bar manager Prateek Arora.
Alok Vasanth – Head Chef
Alok was born in Hyderabad, South India, but immigrated to New Zealand at age 11, where he spent his formative years at school in Auckland.
After graduating with a Diploma in Culinary Arts he worked alongside Peter Gordon at Dine by Peter Gordon, and then at Kermadec with Executive Chef Peter Thornley.
He then travelled back through India, achieving a Bachelor of Hotel Management, whilst working with, and studying the local cuisine.
A two year spell in Australia sent him to Melbourne where he worked at Tonka (modern Indian), and then with kiwi-born Hayden McMillan at Roving Marrow.
Now keen to stay in New Zealand, Alok has moved back to Auckland and assumed the Head Chef position at Cassia, where he brings creativity and breadth of knowledge and experience to lead the Cassia kitchen team.
Matthew Aitchison – Manager
Following a short stint in Shanghai, Matthew returned home to New Zealand to a long-serving post with Simon Wright and Creghan Molloy-Wright at the acclaimed The French Café where he served as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier.
Recently he was opening Restaurant Manager of MASU by Nic Watt, leading the restaurant to Metro Best New Restaurant and Restaurant of the Year, within its first 12 months. He now joins Sid and Chand to bring his detailed and personalised brand of service to their exciting new concept of Modern Indian dining.