Following up from the amazing night from Cassia, dining at Sidart immediately comes to mind. Sidart has long-standing been one of Auckland’s best restaurants. Like the name suggests, every dish is no less than art on a plate with no toleration for low standards.
It’s a strange location for a high end restaurant and passing through the slightly dinghy arcade to go up the stairs, it is a completely different atmosphere walking through Sidart’s doors. It was much smaller than I expected and everything was elegantly set up in black and golden tones. The tone was set by the view of the city lights which was actually quite breath-taking as the lights glowed through the window.
We went for their Tuesday Test Kitchen which is $80 for an eight-course culinary experiment – the only restaurant in Auckland that offers this concept. At first I didn’t know whether it would be too experimental for my liking with all the delicate foams and bisques that are often looked down upon these days for being pretentious and unnecessary. I personally liked it as part of the sensory experience.
The foodie highlight was the pork belly which was ohhh so tender and melted in my mouth. Each of the little elements on the plate served its purpose and added either a different texture or played the sweet and savoury tug of war. The two desserts were so fulfilling and while it was so intricate, every mouthful was delicious.
The waiter was very humble and thoughtful, explaining each of the dishes without sounding like they were reciting off a book. Even when we asked to halt and take a break from the 8 courses, they graciously let the kitchen know so we could take a breather. The cheeky part of the Tuesday Test Kitchen is that the menu is given to you in an envelope. Whether or not you would like to know the contents is entirely up to you. If you were dining with other foodies, you can have a little competition to see who can guess the most ingredients on the plate!
A low point was actually the setting with the tables being very close together and a bit claustrophobic and warm. The toilets were also a short walk away from the restaurant which is good to take a breather and shot of cool air but can detract from the mood. The 8 course degustation took over 3 hours – quite long for a mid week night out and made me leave patting my stomach and saying “no more”!
I’d love to go back for a special occasion or event. The food was immaculate and it was a real fine dining experience to be remembered for any foodie!
Ph: (09) 360 2122
Level 1, Three Lamps Plaza
283 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby