There's nothing like the excitement of a new opening from a superstar chef. When you know and love their current offering - in this case Sid Sahrawat's Sidart - the next incarnation is awaited with bated breath. Sahrawat, who won outstanding chef at this year's Lewisham Awards, opens Cassia this week, promising to reinterpret his native Indian cuisine using seasonal New Zealand produce.
In the basement of the Imperial building, where Mandarin Dumpling had a brief appearance, the stylish venue includes an ironic mix of current trends: communal tables and a private dining room.
The sharing-style menu lists tempting options like a fennel brioche with caramelised chicken and soft shell crab with pickled cucumber, carrot puree, and tomato kasundi, while Indian inspired cocktails include a lassi-style mango gin fizz.
"It's about taking the best of New Zealand produce and giving it an Indian slant," Sid says.
"Having travelled extensively around India as a child, I have been influenced by dishes from throughout the entire country."
• Open Tue-Sat for dinner from tomorrow, Wed-Fri for lunch, drinks and smaller plates from next Wednesday. 5 Fort Lane, City. Ph (09) 379 9702. Bookings for groups of eight or more only.