This business is a MenuMania SponsorOne of the Business' Favourite Reviews
My partner and I decided to try The Grill on the recommendation of his older brother who dines there regularly with clients, and we were blown away!
We opted for the set menu offered for those seated before 6.30pm and rang ahead to make a reservation, however we got stuck in traffic on the way and did not arrive until 6.50pm after desperately attempting to navigate the skycity parking. Staff were completely unphased and directed us to our table with the assurance that the set menu was still available.
We decided on the BEAUTIFUL slow cooked lamb shank, amazing duck fat chips and a salad, followed by the creme caramel for dessert. This is potentially one of the best meals I have had in my life.
The wait staff and front of house were friendly, courteous, highly knowledgeable (particularly about the wine list), and made us feel very welcome indeed. To top it all off, the front of house also explained that we would receive a hefty discount for skycity parking using the barcode printed on the bill, AMAZING! It is these small efforts made to go the extra mile for the customer that make The Grill a truly 5 star experience.
Amazing value for money and a wonderful atmosphere for a romantic pre-opera dinner for two.
If you have not already tried The Grill, then it is a MUST the next time you are looking for a dinner venue in Auckland central. 5+ stars!!
I have been twice now and both times have been great. The restaurant really is fantastic with great decor and very helpful staff. The food is very good but very expensive so we can only go for special occasions, this is my only complaint!
But then, you do get what you pay for!
OK to be honest Fine Dining and Grilling didn’t really go together in my mind, but i had a chance to try The Grill and i don’t regret it. The service was a highlight and our order was changed based on the recommendations of the waiter and it suited our needs perfectly. The beef was perfectly cooked and really just amazing. The sides were also fantastic, the asparagus was perfectly green and cooked just right and was a nice match with the hollandaise. The waiter also overhead our wine discussions and offered the special which was really perfect. The desserts were good honest fare well done. So, i have to admit this was an absolutely satisfying done Fine Dining steak dinner! Sure not artistic like Meridiths but i could not fault it. Hence the 5 stars.
Last night a group of us went out to The Grill to celebrate a successful month from work. Initially we were having second thoughts about dining here due to the fact we had dressed too casual to be at a high end “fine dining” luxury restaurant – but by the end of the night it seems as though the service was poorer than our casual wear.
We made a booking for 5, 3 of us turned up slightly early. We were seated without being offered beverages at all. Fifteen minutes later I had to go up to the bar myself and order a few drinks and with my exact words: “and a bowl of fries”. The waiter/supervisor dressed in a suit looked at me with what I saw as a disgraceful face and replied: “you mean our Duck Fat Chips?” Well excuse me but use some common sense and figure it out yourself. I certainly did not expect attitude like that from a fine dining restaurant.
Cutting to the chase, our whole dining experience at The Grill was very disappointing.
- Entrees: We ordered a seafood platter along with Pork Spare Ribs, Duck liver parfait, Mushrooms and Cauliflower Cheese and another side of “Duck Fat Chips”. These were fairly well done and presented but I had not finished eating and the same supervisor came to clear my plates, literally lifting it whilst saying “may I take your plate?” By now I was extremely disappointed and the group of us started talking about how bad the service was at this place we initially thought was very luxury.
- Mains: We all ordered different dishes and overall they very averagely presented. I ordered the lamb rack which I thought was 7 out of 10 – losing a point for presentation, a point for not having any appropriate cutlery and the other for taste. Moreover, my cousin had asked for a Steak cooked medium rare and words cannot describe how disappointed he was during the course of this Steak. It was burnt on the outside and still very, very rare on the inside. Two bites into it he couldn’t resist but to escalate this to the manager. With an appalling attitude the manager just took the dish away even when it still had sides on it saying she will sort it out. 10-15 minutes later the same steak came back to the table, fully black where the bone was. It was cooked around the piece of steak, but one slice in, RARE again. We immediately informed the waiter and the manager came and asked if we wanted it cooked more! The 5 of us were absolutely disgusted by the service of The Grill – recooking the same Steak was bad enough but to cook it a third time??! My cousin had lost his appetite and asked them to take it away even insisting to pay for it.
- Drinks: We ordered 3 bottles of wine with the ice bucket away from arms reach. Glasses sat dry numerous times and we had to constantly ask for them to be refilled.
We regularly dine at fine dining restaurants and are big spenders on food and drinks. The total bill for the night was just over $740 with drinks contributing $276.50 and the whole experience we all thought was about a 3 out of 10. All are extremely disappointed and will not ever recommend friends or family to go there.
On the positive side, a relatively good waiter who apologized to us numerous times. At the end of the night we tipped him $20 – Good work mate!
Food and service excellent. Tables are close together and quite noisy as noted in other reviews but we accept that for a popular restaurant. Only gripe was the $28 price tag for a 1/4 of a flute of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Over the top given a bottle is $70 odd in the shops. Menu price for a bottle $155. Understand required mark ups but still expected a full flute for $28 each. We will go back for sure but won’t be ordering bubbly!
My wife and I decided to go to The Grill for our 20th wedding anniversary lunch, what a fantastic experience we had so much yummy food, as we love to eat out and this was a special occasion we ordered 3 courses and found all courses excellent. If I was going to say anything negative it is the tables are extremely close it is difficult to have a private conversation but small price to pay for the excellent food and service. Thanks.
Three of us booked for The Grill Saturday night for a special 55th birthday treat and what a treat it was…. We arrived on time at 8pm but our table was not ready, we were told to have a drink at the bar but we declined as we had just had a drink at Sky Grand bar. We were greeted by a young English waiter who gradually became a real pain in the neck, a “know all” who knew nothing about service! He said he would come back and tell us the “specials of the day” which he never did…. My main problem with “The Grill” is service, it just doesn’t exist. We waited 1 hour and 40mins for our main courses to arrive. They take your wine and place it on a serving table on the other side of the room, all well and good as long as they want to check your glasses to refill them, but they don’t. After 1 hour 40mins I went up to the desk and complained to the manager that we had empty glasses plus we were hungry and had waited far too long to get any food. He apologised and ran out to the kitchen, within minutes we had wine and food at the table but the gloss had gone from our birthday dinner. The English waiter who was just so full of himself continued to be a real pain, I cringed each time he came to the table. The food was fine but the service at the Grill is a shocker! One can get service 100% better in much lesser restaurants in NZ, Sean Connolly you need to pick up your game!
I will never go back to The Grill, the whole place needs a major shake-up!
Why do these so called “trendy” restaurants with “awards” have to have poor service.
There is no way someone could not leave this place totally blown away!!! It’s a top notch dining experience!!
The staff are so corteous, they provide an excellent customer service to match the excellent meal!!!
I had the steak tartare, its very hard to find this dish in Auckland, and to find it and have it seasoned to perfection, it was the very first time!!!
I simply loved it, amazing!!!!
A warm & friendly welcome, swift but non-intrusive service, and wonderful food all at a reasonable price. All this was somewhat undermined by the fact that after our dessert was delivered, we were completely abandoned. So much so we couldn’t even get anyone’s attention to bring over the bill. We’ll still be back though.
every time i go to sky city i have always wanted to dine here but never did for some reason until yesterday and what a pleasant experience it was. The food was top notch, faultless and the staff were also very good and extremely helpful. we need more restaurants like this in nz. hats off to this place, chef, staff and everyone because we will definitely come back.
Hands down, best food, great atmosphere! Must try Steak Tartare! Waygu beef is melt in your mouth… Worth every penny, even though was very expensive! Senior female waitress was outstanding! Don’t miss the duck fat chips!
The service was fantastic, food amazing especially ‘grandmas carrots and chips cooked in duck fat. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Tables bit close together I thought. Woman at front of house not only beautiful but very efficient and friendly.
Expensive but worth every penny! Food was amazing – served by the best staff I have ever come across! Def recommend I would happily come back and done here any day of the week. Steak was cooked perfectly and the duck fat chips are to die for, if you are wanting to make a good impression in someone take them here!
Love the Grill! Fantastic food, the steak is just superb! And if you visit, you MUST try the carrots – you’ll never find anything anywhere like them. Fantastic service, delicious food – I highly recommend dining here. We’ve eaten there twice and most definitely will return again sometime soon…
Excellent meal We had sashimi and oysters for starter, rib on the bone and pork for main. It was absolutely beautiful. Sides of brocolini and duck fat chips. Delicious. Outstanding waiter from Canada who made our night very special.
We were on the cancelation list, received a phone call to say we had a booking and were remembered when we arrived. An outstanding evening. Thankyou
Our family dined here last night and had the set menu as we were off to a show. Very very average. 3 of us left half the food on our plates, the husband finished his, just because he was hungry!
I was expecting to be wow’ed and left very disappointed. We could have had a nicer meal down the road at Burger Fuel for a 10th of the price. I did give feedback when we left and was told “oh that’s a shame”
Wait time: 4/5
Food Quality and taste: 5/5
Price range: $100+ pp
[I love all the seafood and meats here, combined with the correct wine or beer, you can have the meanest meal]
The food and service were wonderful. We both had the sashimi which was fantastic followed by venison & sirloin. Both meals were great. The staff were very friendly and observant without being in your face.
We have booked in again for next week.
Menu mania made booking very easy and effortless.
It was a Tuesday night and a spur of the moment decision to eat out. We chose the grill as we have been thinking about trying it for a while and as it was midweek chances are we could get in so when we rang for reservations we were told we could have 715pm seating( I rang at 630pm) After making the reservations,I rang again to clarify about parking and it was free valet acc to the receptionist with an accent so off we went. Valet parking was awesome that was the best part of the night! When we entered the Grill, a frosty looking woman in reception didn’t even smile when I gave my reservation name, she then proceeded to say we don’t have a reservation! So when I said I spoke to her barely half an hour ago about the parking she obviously remembered and snatch two menus and in her snooty accent said follow me! Our waiter on the other hand was pleasant and he explained the menu well. We had wagyu beef ,duck chips, king crab on toast and for dessert we had the creme caramel and Roasted pineapple with ice cream.The food was ok but not exceptional. The place to me is small! Too small in fact that the tables were too close that when the waiter was taking the other tables orders, his backside was touching my plate n wine glass and the edge of his uniform was practically on my food! It’s suppose to be fine dining so please try and fix it! Loose a few tables to make more space and loose the front girl in the reception with the high and mighty
attitude and we might consider giving it another try!
Had two lovely meals there recently. The sashmi was devine to start and the steak beautifully done. Highly recommend the ‘Petit Fours’ as well… so delightful. Great atmosphere, fun place to go with friends.
5 star through and through. Really appreciated the waitress asking us if we were under any time pressure, luckily we weren’t but a very considerate question to be asked. The whole experience was first rate. I was rapt with my Wagyu burger, not the standard dish I would have got at a place like this. But having heard about this through a friend and then seeing it in a magazine, I couldn’t look past it. Worth mentioning also was the treacle tart with vanilla bean custard. The neighbouring table had the steak tartare prepared at the table, seeing this assured us that we will be back for some of that!
Was really looking forward to eating at this place with the August restaurant month set menu. It was disappointing, we didn’t realise that the main was just meat, so we had to order sides. Most of the group had ordered the ribs they were so rare that a few of the girls barely touched their ribs. The baby chicken on the hand was perfect. It was hit and miss. A miss opportunity to wow with a set menu.
Four of us dined at the much talked about ‘The Grill’ on Saturday night.
Overall, The Grill does simple food – essentially steak and (their world famous duck fat) chips very very well. The service was attentive but not over the top and waiters and waitresses knew the answers to our many questions (what flavour is that sauce? which wine do you recommend?).
We especially liked the few added touches that add class to this restaurant – the complimentary bread at the start to take the edge of the hunger, and the offer to bring out all the steak sauces so we could try each of them with our meal (I think this was only because more than one of us was having steak).
The desserts were a little disappointing, with the ‘Elvis’ being the best one and that was more because of the interesting factor. The white, red and two of dessert wines were both delicious choices but one of the dessert wines was very acidic.
It is also a bit strange to have to walk out of the restaurant and down into the hotel to go to the bathroom.
In short, The Grill ticks all the boxes – food, wine, service, decor but it just doesn’t have that X factor, that “je ne sais quoi”. It is great but I won’t be repeating my experience any time soon.
Dined at The Grill Monday evening and the food, service, timing and presentation just outstanding. The suckling pig terrine was very nice, the baby chicken tender and cook perfectly, my only thing is that i found the gravy too salty for my taste. Dessert, the vanilla bean custard was light and velvety, just delicious!
The staff fantastic, thank you all.
Great service, great food. Took Parents there and we all were thoroughly happy with our meals. Lamb to share was divine and steaks were cooked to perfection. We order numerous sides to share and all were very nice. Highly recommend the potato dish.
Dined at The Grill last Monday night and the food was fantastic, the suckling pig terrine a standout and the compound butters were a nice addition, very old school-loved it!
Service was a tad slow given it wasn’t that busy but no major.
Thanks Sean for a great dinning experience, will book another night on line once I’ve finished this review.
Food ok steak very good, service very good lots of extras need to go with the meal, quiet a lot of noise
I’ve walked past many times and oodled the menu, but just thought it too expensive to try. BUT once I saw there was a promotion for this place I was all over it.
We went along to do the 3 courses for $45 (as long as were seated before 6:30pm this option was available). $45 for THREE COURSES at this top notch food haven, people!
We were given our own little booth and the food was devine. Presentation was incredible as well – the chicken & oyster soup was presented in a deep dish and once the waitressed had placed the plate on the table, then the liquid was poured on top. We also watched a 60 second steak get brought to a neighbour’s table under a glass dome, very cool. Plus, to round off the visual appetite, another neighbour had a steak tartare made in front of him. Nice. I had the pig terrine (decent) and then the duck ragu (yum, although could have done with more seasoning). But the dessert topped it off – a lovely treacle tart (made perfectly) & custard.
Being so early in the evening there weren’t many tables filled once we got there, but it soon was quite busy/full by the time we left at 8. The decor was simple but nice. The staff wore chef’s jackets actually which confused me a little as at first I thought the actual chef had come to take our order! The service was impecable, as expected.
I don’t remember the music, so that obviously wasn’t much to write about.
The wine prices were the reason I have left off the last star for The Grill. Average wine for a high price, which pretty much doubled the price of the meal. But then again, if this place is a hot ticket item, they can charge what they like.
Highly recommend the $45 3 course promo while it’s available!
Food was excellent, if a bit pricey, but portion sizes were good. Wine was very expensive which pushed the total up considerably. Service didn’t quite match up to the level of the food or prices but was still good. Atmosphere was also good, relaxed but stylish. Would definitely go back again, the eye fillet was delicious!
This is one of those places you go to for a real experience.
They are certainly not cheap, but they delivered us an excellent meal with excellent service.
Our mains were an eye fillet steak and the venison and both were cooked to perfection. The sides were very generous – each side could easily be shared between 2 maybe even 3 people.
For dessert we had the cheesecake (a great ‘upside down’ twist on a normal cheesecake) and the Banana Perdu (not as good as the cheesecake but still great).
The food was $143 all up, but worth every cent. They also have an amazing wine list with some great wines available by the glass.
Recommended for a special night out!
There are some really special dishes at this restaurant. The rib eye on the bone is To Die For and the prawn cocktail from the entrees is fabulous.
Also the cheese cake on the dessert menu is very different from the usual but is really special and the strawberries were a delight (and I dont normally believe that things with fruit even qualify as dessert).
This place was okay. The service was friendly and relaxed, but the food was hit and miss. The people next to us ordered the same entree, and theirs looked really different to ours- and a lot better.
The sauce I had with my nice steak was a bit strange tasting, reminicent of runny ezi cheese.
I dont think we’ll go back, but it was ok.
A really pleasant meal. Good service, however the steaks were smoked and rather overpowering.
The wines were excellent and reasonably priced for the venue.
Worth a return visit
The food was great, the atmosphere was perfect and even the service was great. For Italian cu sine we will definitely go again. The best we have experienced in Auckland.
I will recommend this restaurant to all my friends.
I had a great experience here. Beautiful food and the staff were great, friendly and attentive. It has a beautiful, upmarket layout but gets very casually dressed traffic from tourists from the Skycity Grand & Skycity Hotel nearby, so it doesn’t seem like a pretentious atmosphere. I had steak (natch), and it was divine. The duck fat chips are to die for! Also a brilliant wine list. Loved everything – the food, service and atmosphere, highly recommend for special occasions or romantic interludes – I want to get one of the 2 semi-private booth-type alcove seats next time. Great for a date!
One special night we book a table for 4 at the Grill we didn;t really know nothing more than this restaurant were the new baby for this famous chef call Sean Connolly we hear about the steaks and some other rumours about the investment of all the kitchen, decoration etc. So we were curious about the rest. The place is fancy but I saw a couple of casual and relax customers around so it seem to me that the dress code can be casual as well. Is kind of dark place with black couch and tables, low lights and u can see the kitchen thought the place. We have Line-caught snapper and black Angus steak with a couple or great Sauvignon and Pinot noir wine glasses. The experience was good we believe is a place to go for some serious or special occasions.
Fantastic restaurant! I have visited on three occasions to entertain clients, the food and service was superb. One only down side would be the king crab which lacked taste and appeared to be cooked from frozen with the result being semi-tastless and chewy. Steaks are amazing!
Disappointed despite all the hype. Asked the manager if we could make a subsequent booking for a larger group (corporate group of executives) when we were shown to our seats. She said she would be back to get the details, but never returned – so no future booking.
Messed up the bill and charged it twice and then had to be corrected
My husband and I had the good fortune to be taken out for thank you dinner here recently.
The service was first class from the moment we walked through the door, our table was a private booth which was intimate and gave us the impression of feeling a little bit like a celebrity.
The wait staff were incredibly attentive, knowledgeable and friendly.
One of the highlights of the evening was the steak tartar which is theatrically prepared at the table and just melted in the mouth. It was the first time for me trying this dish and I feel the standard has been set quite high.
We all ordered steak and it all came cooked to our exact specifications. One of our group choose the “study of beef” which is the chefs 3 favourite cuts of meat. It is quite interesting eating each cut and comparing. It is something that a true carnivore should indulge in. This was charged at market price of $120 but would easily feed two people. The wine list was well chosen and in the context of the calibre of restaurant, I thought there was a range of reasonable prices. The sides we ordered were the onion rings, duck fat fries, asparagus and broccolini , which were tasty accompaniments (especially the sauces on the green vegetables). We were too full for each of us to order desserts, but chose a cheesecake for the table to share. It was a delicious creamy mouthful that packed a punch with lemon and raspberry flavour. It was served in a more deconstructed style.
Overall, a really enjoyable experience and would happily head back again in the near future.
We went with high expectations and were not disappointed at all. What sets the scene is the smell of fresh meat when you walk in the door. Just what you want at a grill!
Our starter of Cambridge duck and foie gras pie floater was fantastic and we followed it with the Fiorentina T-Bone to share. The Sommelier’s wine matching was spot on.
Great place for a top-notch night out.
11 Feb 2012
We returned to The Grill with again great expectations. This time it was a bit disappointing. The service and duck and foie gras pie floater were just as good, however the steak was not as good and the pricing has dramatically increased. The steak Fiorentina T-Bone was $115 (listed on the menu as $85) last year and now it is POA ($165). Was a 5 – now a 3 star.
The Grill by Sean Connolly…FINE dining, the emphasis on FINE. FANTASTIC service, AMAZING food, it was a total experience that I would love to do again.
The cost ended up being around $75pp incl tip for 3 of us, we had a main meal with shared sides, a couple of glasses of wine each and a shared dessert, we even met the man himself which was a total treat!
I would totally recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a great start to a special night out.
We had not been following the TV series that has been running along side the opening of this new restaurant in federal street, my partner and I arranged to go for dinner, and a colleague of hers had recommend we try it.
Perhaps, as we had no expectations, this set us up for a memorable and fantastic evening.
From the moment we stepped into this opulent restaurant we were impressed. I have dined at other restaurants designed by Andrew Lister and this dining room is equally as grand. The front of house team immediately showed us to a table, my partner was delighted as we were seated in one of the banquette tables on the ground floor and had an excellent view of the bustling kitchen.
We started our meal with oysters…mmm a great start to any meal. Following this, we had the Alaskan King crab and snapper ceviche, both of sublime quality. The king crab was served with a garlic parsley sauce, however, was so sweet it needed nothing. The ceviche was well balanced with a citrus salad. We both struggled to choose a main..everything sounded fantastic. Sean Connolly has put together a menu that is wholesome, delightful, basic, and true to its word! everything from double fried duck fat chips to the best mac ‘n’ cheese you will find…REAL FOOD!!!
We settled on the trio of meats..three of the chefs favourite cuts. The meat was cooked to perfection, melt in your mouth, with a smokey-charred exterior. We tried the fries and the mac’n'cheese (yes, we will be running for a week to ever look the same) but worth every calorie.
My partner and I shared a creme caramel for dessert, and this too did not disappoint. Silky smooth and the perfect amount of sweetness.
The service was some of the best we have received in Auckland restaurants, it was attentive, and smooth without feeling like we were being watched. Seamless! It feels like they have thought of everything, the bone napkin holders, sauce jugs shaped like a hollowed out bone, the one-off design steak knives.
I would 100% recommend this restaurant, we have re-booked and are taking some friends next week, some things are too good not to share.
WOW! What a fantastic first impression. Food was outstanding, service was flawless.
Auckland or NZ for that matter has not seen a steak house of this league.
I had such an enjoyable meal, entree of pork spare ribs – fall off the bone, tasty, superb. Main was wagyu scotch, not the cheapest at $95, however this was the most memorable piece of meat I have ever eaten, and worth every penny!!!
We also had several sides between the table and the mac-n-cheese was a winner, the whole table raved about it. I was too full to partake in dessert, but going by all the other murmurs of delight from the rest of the party I guess that was outstanding too.
Amazing team, magnificent dining room and wonderful food. An exciting addition to the Auckland restaurant scene. We will be back.
Had a lovely evening here with my Father. The service was outstanding-we had a lovely french gentleman who was a delight to have around. I had the chicken parfait for entree and it was fantastic – as smooth as butter. The jar had alot in it for the amount of bread given so we asked for more as to not waste even a drop! My father had the rabbit which was ok but not as good as the parfait. We both had steak as a main (how could you not??) which was cooked perfectly. For dessert we shared the chocolate tart which was exquisite but lacked in the orange department. Also a bit of orange rind on top to add to the presentation would have been nice. Overall a lovely experience and we also got to meet Sean which was a highlight!
Had dinner there during its opening week. Very professional service, Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu and matching wines. Sean was out in the restaurant talking to patrons and having photos taken and still noticing the finer details that needed to be attended to.
For Entrees I was really looking forward to having the crumbed rabbit however I was a bit disappointed it was deep fried and served as a few nuggets. The duck pie floater was amazing.
For our mains we had the Rib eye fillet which was huge. Great value for money and cooked to perfection. Lamb rack was lovely and our side dishes of duck fat chips and onion rings were great.
Overall great dining experience and getting to meet Sean was a added bonus.
Great wine selection to choose from.
2 entrees and 2 mains and a bottle of wine you are looking around the $200 mark but it is well worth it.
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