KOL (pronounced ‘coal’ and inspired by the same word) is a bar and eatery, serving innovative cocktails alongside an extensive champagne, wine, and beverage list. That drinks list is complemented by a selection of tandoor-inspired snacks and dishes primarily cooked over fire, using the best New Zealand produce with an Indian influence.  

Located in an iconic villa on the corner of Ponsonby Road and Hepburn Street, Ponsonby, KOL is independently owned and operated by restauranteurs Sid & Chand Sahrawat who also run modern Indian restaurant Cassia, modern Asian fusion restaurant Anise and relaxed fine dining restaurant, The French Café.

KOL’s “fire” element and food menu take their inspiration from the Indian chula. An old form of cooking with firewood over a mud or clay stove, it pays homage to a traditional way of cooking over fire.

Meet the team

Sid Sahrawat

Restaurateur, Executive chef

Sid is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s most talented chefs and has been consistently recognised with numerous awards and accolades over the years.  Sid was born in Chandigarh, India in 1980.

 The son of an Indian army general, Sid credits his father’s army discipline to his detailed approach to his work. At the age of 14 he went to hospitality school in Chennai followed by a short period of work experience in the Middle East (Oman) where his family was based at the time. 

Moving to New Zealand in 2000, Sid opened his first restaurant, Sidart in 2009 (sold 2021), Cassia in 2014 and acquired the iconic French Café in 2018. 

Renowned for his innovative and inspirational cooking, exposure to international cuisines influences chef’s desire to constantly push the boundaries of flavour, texture and artistic presentation.   

Chand Sahrawat

Restaurateur, Operations manager

The second half of the formidable duo, Sid’s wife, Chand Sahrawat was born in New Delhi and spent her formative years in Pune, a large city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. 

To those who she grew up with, it will have come as little surprise that Chand is now a major influencer in the Auckland food and hospitality scene; growing up her nickname was “tourist guide for the city” as she was always keen to eat out and take visitors to the best foodie hot spots, something she still does to this day. 

In 2002, aged 17, Chand moved to New Zealand to attend the University of Auckland and now holds three degrees. Chand oversees the operations across all three restaurants as well as the couple’s “at home” range of curry sauces and spices, Cassia at Home.