Sidart is the fine dining restaurant of chef Sid Sahrawat. It is secretly located inside Three Lamps Plaza, Ponsonby with an intimate dining area (in other words, small). It’s one of those places that you need to know about as it is not something you walk pass while strolling in Ponsonby. They have an a la carte menu as well as a four course a la carte and a nine course degustation menu. A vegetarian option is available for all set menus. We opted for the four course a la carte that costs $95 which is very decent considering entrees cost $26 and mains $43.
Most fine dining restaurants offer a free tasting dish to start and Sidart is no exception. Served in a petite glass, the marinated prawns with watermelon, goat cheese mousse and beetroot foam is a refreshing start. It was pretty good considering my dislike for goat cheese and foam. The watermelon and chunky prawns as the bottom of the glass was delicious.
The choices for the first course were all fish. We decided to get the John Dory and the Yellowfin tuna. The seared John Dory with its crispy skin was juicy and tender. The poached paua and the miso sauce was a nice touch. The yellowfin tuna with calamari was fresh and served cold. A nice contrast compared to the John Dory dish.
For the second course, my partner and I ordered the roasted quail and rabbit loin spring roll. The quail was juicy and flavorsome but it is nothing compared to the amazing rabbit loin wrapped in crispy filo pastry. We also ordered the seared venison loin with cauliflower and deep fried halloumi cheese. Perfectly cooked venison with chewy cheese is a surprisingly good combo!
For the third course, we both decided to get a medium rare grain-fed eye fillet with butternut puree, fried polenta and coffee jelly. A decently sized portion of steak and perfectly cooked. Not all restaurants can get medium-rare right, but Sidart nailed it. Slightly bloody in the centre, the steak was delectable.
Dessert was our last and best course during the meal. There were a couple of options but the menu doesn’t explain the dish well. This is where the waitress prove to be helpful. After her detailed explanation, I ordered the lychee parfait served with pieces of fresh pineapple, honeycomb and pineapple sorbet. A beautifully arranged dish and the sorbet was spectacular. My partner ordered the chocolate cylinder which was described to us as a tiramisu-like dessert coated in chocolate. Upon serving, the waitress poured hot milk chocolate on top which exposes the spongy chocolate interior. A very rich dessert but not overly sweet.
Overall, I have no complaints on the food at Sidart. Every dish were served beautifully and all components in each dish worked well with each other. However, I would have preferred a bigger dining area or at least a less crowded seating arrangement. Our waitress was helpful and friendly and the overall service was first-class. This restaurant is definitely one that I would frequent.
Date: Friday 1st July, 2011 | Location: Three Lamps Plaza, 283 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby | Food: Contemporary