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The Grill by Sean Connolly - SkyCity Grand Hotel

4 star rating 74 reviews

Restaurant location map

09 3637000, 09 3637076

SkyCity Grand Hotel, 90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland

  Seafood, Steakhouse
12 Noon to 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM to 10 PM (Mon-Thu, Sat-Sun), 12 Noon to 10 PM (Friday)


Reviews for The Grill by Sean Connolly - SkyCity Grand Hotel

5 star rating
by Kevin
3 days ago

I just love a good steak, so I adore dining at The Grill because the start with great meat and do as little as possible to make it even better.

Tonight though I wanted something a little lighter, so I ordered the Wagu burger... And it is just devine - very succulent and absolutely packed with flavour! This is a "must try" meal.

5 star rating
by Snedden Dcosta
19 days ago

Came here with my boss (italian chef), Service was good right from the start. We had a complete 3 course menu, with some of the best wine i have ever tasted. the steak tartare is very exquisitely done table side. My Queenlands prawns were just so delicious, done plain and simple in garlic butter, the steak was just so tender and juicy. and cooked exactly the way i wanted. And to finish off the dessert, it just made our night.

4 star rating
by Amy McGinley
23 days ago

Second visit to The Grill. Unfortunately my Savannah eye fillet had a big chunk of fat in the middle. Disappointed because I expect better for that price range. In saying that everything else - drinks, sides, desserts & service are all excellent.

5 star rating
by Paprika
28 days ago

This place is the best. I had the best steak I've ever had so I am giving it a 5. The service was amazing. Between the five of us we managed to try almost everything on the menu and I can honestly say it was a meal to remember. So good. Can't wait to go back.

5 star rating
by Robert Fazekas
one month ago

Absolutely outstanding food. Every trip is a pleasure and if steak is what you are after then The Grill should be your destination. The variety of sauces and compounds butter in particular make every visit feel unique.

5 star rating
by Tess
one month ago

Great food, excellent service! The best dining experience! For starter, we had the Wood grill ox tounge, suckling pig fritter and pork spare ribs. The ox tounge melt in your mouth, pork spare ribs very tender and yummy and serve in a surprise smoky glass dome. For mains, we ordered eye fillet steak-well done, lamb rack and yellowfin tuna. All perfectly cooked and melt in your mouth.
Great place to celebrate and splurge on special occassions.

5 star rating
by Genevieve Van Eden
2 months ago

The service was very good he tried to make sure all of his customers were happy and content with what they had our glasses were always topped up,

I had the Prawns to be honest they tasted good however were quite messy trying to remove the flesh from the shell. The Scollops with black pudding was a treat for my partner, I had the coastal spring lamb 5 points the ju was delicious although a little rear for me. My partner had a fish dish and it was very nice. We both had a dessert with meringue with raspberry kind of sauce and gold leaf on top it was absolutely delicious as light as anything with a lot of flavour in the sauce.

For me personally i felt it was a little dark and the music was different at times i am sure it was death metal although it was too loud it was always present not so much in the background.

We would like to return due to the food being suberb.

3 star rating
by Tony Frost
2 months ago

We went to the grill expecting a lot. When we were there the staff were freindly but a tadd harried by customers who were frankly obnoxious "look at me I'm somebody " type people.The food LOOKED fantastic but really the taste wasn't all that great. Some handling errors by our waiting staff meant our side dishes arrived as we were 3/4 through our meals. Unfortunately the seating arangements meant that we (celebrating an aniversary) were sat very close to a loud group of people and close to we think an aitrcon duct . There was a cold breeze the whole evening. I frankly have had much better meals elsewhere.  ALL THAT SAID- This was our experience on  a night when the staff were being harried by a large group what apeared to be wannabe or actual NZ celebs. We feel its only fair to go back in a few months . The ambiance and feel of the place says that it should be a great dining experience. I'd love to actually taste the signature english chips.

5 star rating
by Muffin Mum
2 months ago

After a lot of thought and menu reading, I decided that The Grill had to be one of our stops on our Auckland eating weekend. I chose well.

From the beginning the service was excellent and it stayed that way all evening. It is hard to define what good service is and I would say that here it was making you feel like a guest that was expected and welcome. The food was excellent too. 

We enjoyed the bread and Lewis Road Creamery butter, moved onto the steak tartare which was prepared at the table. This was an experience in itself and excellent. It tasted even better after seeing how it was done and adding the right amount of Kaitai Fire for our tastes.

For mains I had the excellent burger and Mr had the rib eye aged on the bone. The burger was a perfectly balanced and delicious, the ribeye was declared in the top 3 for the best steak ever. As for sides, mine came with a cone of duck fat chips, we also had onion rings and Curious cropper’s tomato salad, red onion, basil, olive oil. 
The tomatoes were fantastic, haven't had a green tomato for years. The onion rings were the best ever, I likened them to my favourite best bits of hot chips, those crispy bits in the bottom, with onion inside. 

We managed to read the dessert menu and were advised of the 20 minute wait for the Valrhona chocolate soufflé, vanilla ice cream as it is made from scratch, this sounded like a perfect wait so we ordered that and the Pippin’s strawberry soup, strawberry sorbet, basil. 
Both were excellent, you need to try for yourself.

If you are reading this wondering if you should go, do it, book it and eat it all.

2 star rating
by Adeline
2 months ago

I was here for my bday dinner in Dec 2014. Was really looking forward to this place after learning more about its famous founder from MKRZ NZ series. Unfortunately, we were both a bit let down by the overall experience.

While the customer service was perfect (we were served by this attentive, super chatty Canadian male waiter - sorry, I can't remember his name), our food was slow. We knew it all came at a (high) price, but we were willing to give it a go. So while the Alaskan crabs came highly recommended - do bear in mind you get a few legs (not the entire crab as we were led to believe), but I guess it's unique as you won't get it anywhere else in Auckland (or might have to sell off an arm and a leg to savour the whole piece). We didn't mind it either way - as I said - it was the overall experience.

But we were kept waiting 45 mins for our mains. It was already 9.30pm by then so the husband inquired about our mains. We were then told the chef was not happy with our steaks, so they had to re-do our mains. In the meantime they gave us some Prosciutto slices on the house. While we appreciated this gesture - it actually ruined our palate for the night. As you know, prosciutto is super salty (I did not understand why they didn't give us some bread to go with it to offset the saltyness.

So we ended up tasting nothing but salt when our mains arrived (steak). It was ruined. There was no going back. We left without staying on for dessert. Surprisingly the maitre d didn't even ask us how our meal was when we paid for our meals. Underwhelming experience to say the least. Thank god THE FED next door saved the day with their trio of cakes as our dessert for the night.

Another note - why can't they provide some candles for some of the tables at the side - where we were sat was DARK as, and we couldn't get another table as it was fully booked for the night. It was really hard to see each other let alone our meals.

So there says when someone asks me how was The Grill - I'd say 'overrated.' You're better off going somewhere else in the city. Well, that's my experience anyway.

3 star rating
by Missy Elliott
4 months ago

Was really looking forward to eating here, food was good, not great, I've been to Jervois quite a few times and this seemed like an exact replica, so not very creative.  The atmosphere was a bit too dark and cramped feeling, but the food was good, and the service spot on.

4 star rating
by Charica Roche
4 months ago

I had always wanted to try Wagyu beef ever since my cousin who works in a hotel recommended it years ago. However, I'm not ready to pay top dollar for a meal I'm not yet sure whether I'll like it or not. And so I attended the first ever Federal Street Food Festival held outside of SkyCity or SkyTower on 7 November 2014, where I got the chance to sample the mini Wagyu beef burger for $7 from this restaurant's food stand.

If you have heard of chefs raving about the marbling and the taste of Wagyu beef, it could be either hype or true. But what I'm sure of is that it's indeed a bit better than the usual beef patties offered. The patty held in place and didn't break apart. Hopefully no fillers were added to it. Maybe next time I need to have a go at trying the steak version with a few ingredients on the side, or the patty for a burger.

Although there were heaps of people at the event, lines were not as busy as other food festivals. Understandably this is the first time the Federal Street hosts such event but hey, I bet it was a success for all the restaurants and beer brands involved.

4 star rating
by Kezia Lobo
4 months ago

I love eating here. Awesome steaks & good meal sizes a proper steak house. I love the wait staff here. They are genuinely nice and interested in making sure you have an enjoyable experience

4 star rating
by Dean Shelley
5 months ago

Food was to be as expected, small cuts of high quality meat. I went for the venison; Rare of course. Very rich and very fresh.

Note to future diners; Don't get the sashimi for the entree. My friend unfortunately fell ill after eating not so fresh snapper. Also, duck fat chips? I needed to see what the fuss was about.. Could taste the duck, but my local fish and chip shop could match the quality.

All in all, atmosphere was good and the waiter was very attentive. The maitre d' needed to put a smile on her face though.

5 star rating
by Jason Montreal
5 months ago

About as good as NZ steak houses get but you're going to pay for it.  As you should given quality, service and location.  Really enjoyed a solid Zinfandel with a beautifully cooked piece of meat on last visit.

5 star rating
by Shharukh Issani
6 months ago

Of course its Sean Connolly , has to be amazing could not ask for more . All that flavors around the food . I personally could never stop myself not going a million times if I could. But yes getting a table is hard so have to book in advance. Otherwise everything is just PERFECT .

5 star rating
by Portia Ross
6 months ago

Best meal you'll ever have. Whether it's the gnocchi, beef burger, lamb or Angus steak your going to food heaven. Duck fat chips are a must, cured meats are amazing but most of all the steak tartar......INCREDIBLE.

5 star rating
by Chantelle
6 months ago

Best dinner ever

5 star rating
by Wendi Weight
7 months ago

Awesome place to eat, the food was devine

4 star rating
by Phoebe Day
7 months ago

lovely nice food.
thanks to my lovely partner.
i wonder when will this happen again...

1 star rating
by Jean HH
7 months ago

We tried the Auckland restaurant month deal - 2 courses for $40.   There was of course no choice.  A huge piece of grilled tongue that pulsated with beef fat - very nice horseradish sauce, however.   This was followed by what looked like a kilo of beef cheek (3 large pieces), nicely decorated with a dramatic sauce, resting on a bed of mash.  Again it burst its sides with inner fat and the texture was a bit like a beef flavoured marshmallow.   This I sent back as I simply could not do more than take a tentative taste.   I was urged to choose something else by the wait person.  I chose some raw fish - mostly because I thought it would make it easy for them when it came to paying for the meal.  They could simply substitute the fish for the mountain of meat.   It did not occur to me that we would be charged for everything we had ordered.   But that's what happened.  And we should have argued but by that time it seemed easier to pay up and leave.  Not good PR on their part though I am sure there are people who adore plates of undiluted fatty meats.   It was, one might say, a meal that was the opposite of well balanced and upon reflection it seemed to me that no real effort had been made to do anything other than take part in the restaurant month deal at the least possible cost.  Not a good look.

5 star rating
by Juliet Trevethick
9 months ago

Our second trip back to The Grill and it was just fantastic! We had a superb waiter who was very knowledgeable and catered to our every need. Food arrived quickly and was exceptionally delicious. The desserts were phenomenal. We will return again and again to enjoy this wonderful experience!

5 star rating
by Joanne
9 months ago

My partner had been wanting to visit The Grill ever since he saw it on tv. So we took the opportunity while we were in Auckland recently. So glad we did! This place is AMAZEBALLS!

We were greeted as soon as we walked in and seated straight away. It was Saturday night and the atmosphere was awesome. Nice mood lighting and rock music playing. Our waitress was super attentive and helpful, but not intrusive at all.

It was so hard to choose what to have and we ended up ordering way too much food. But it was so good! I had the 180g Wakanui Angus eye fillet with green pepper corn sauce and my partner had the 240g with garlic and parsley butter. Our steaks were perfect. Absolutely delicious. On the side we got the mac and cheese, baby cos lettuce, radish and chardonnay dressing, duck fat chips and roasted field mushrooms with confit garlic. Again, way too much for two, but so yummy. My partner loved the mac and cheese so much he wanted to go back and eat a whole bowl of it for lunch! The duck fat chips were nice and crunchy and I loved the mushrooms.

The other great thing about The Grill is the wine list. It is so huge and has some amazing wines on it. We spent far more than we normally would on wine.

I would highly recommend The Grill. They really look after you and the food and wine is fantastic. A great night out. Thanks!

5 star rating
by Neila
10 months ago

I went here and got the Sunday roast which had not many veggies (classic) but duck fat potatoes and a massive lump of meat which I barely finished. It was good value. Very good service. I enjoyed the bread and mustard which was a nice touch. When I booked online I said it was a birthday and they came out with decorated dessert that we ordered it was sweet.

4 star rating
by Vanessa Hunt
Mar 10, 2014

We went here last night for a family meal. Glad we came on a Sunday as 3 of us ordered the Sunday roast and is only availableo on this night. It was substantial and amazing. The service was great and all the staff were very friendly and chatting with us. The music is different to a 5 star restaurant for a change and i enjoyed it - a bit more hip - only complaint it could have been a touch lower. I was worried as was the one shouting that it would be horrendously expensive but i thought most reasonable for this type of establishment.
Had a great time. Will definately be back.

5 star rating
by Rebecca Dyke
Feb 15, 2014

This is possibly the best steak I've eaten in Auckland. Impecable service but relaxed not cold, we had the duck parfait and pigs trotter fritters - so delicious! Then I had a small steak and my fiance had the 5 point lamb rack - the meat was fantastic, cooked exactly how we asked for it and the sides to die for - I totally recommend the mac n cheese and the green beans with feta. Don't over order on the meat because you'll want room for sides! For dessert we had the sticky toffee souffle - it takes 25 minutes to come because they make it from scratch but it is absolutely worth the wait!
Good wine list and the port was a rather nice finish.

5 star rating
by Michael Ballentyne
Jan 22, 2014

Simply the best steak meal I have ever had. Oh my goodness the quality of the meat was amazing. I didn't know steak could taste like that.

It was a big night out on the town and we wanted somewhere special, The Grill was perfect. Staff were fun and friendly and the goat chips awesome. Will go again for sure!

5 star rating
by Amy Coghlan
Dec 31, 2013

This would have to be the best restaurant I have dined at. The service was impeccable and so was the food. We took my dad there for his 65th birthday and the candle and happy birthday on the desert was a nice touch. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we will definitely be back.

4 star rating
by Nick Khoey
Dec 06, 2013

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!

4 star rating
by UltimateOmNoms
Nov 29, 2013

A place which Sean Connolly spent millions doing up while under the public eye of the reality show Under The Grill. You can be guaranteed the guys in the kitchen know their way around a juicy steak (That's why they're called The Grill). Definitely a fancy place worth visiting on a special occasion. You might not be a fan of the price, but they always have specials going on.

Read our full review here: http://ultimateomnoms.com/the-grill/

5 star rating
by Phood
Oct 04, 2013

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.

1 star rating
by Henwie Fu
Jul 31, 2013

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!

4 star rating
by Paul Smith
Jul 28, 2013

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!

5 star rating
by Victoria
Jun 18, 2013

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!!

4 star rating
by Daniel Baturic
Apr 19, 2013

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.

2 star rating
by Murray Thompson
Apr 15, 2013

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.

5 star rating
by Joanne Barker
Feb 21, 2013

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!!!!

4 star rating
by Sean Simpson
Feb 20, 2013

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.

5 star rating
by Charlie
Feb 18, 2013

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.

5 star rating
by Holly Holdaway
Feb 17, 2013

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!

4 star rating
by Jacquie Gray
Feb 17, 2013

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.

5 star rating
by Jess Mcinnes
Feb 15, 2013

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!

5 star rating
by Rachelle Williamson
Jan 20, 2013

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...

5 star rating
by Jo Crawford
Dec 21, 2012

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

2 star rating
by Chris
Dec 01, 2012

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"

5 star rating
by Tony Ma
Oct 19, 2012

Service: 5/5
Wait time: 4/5
Environment: 5/5
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]

5 star rating
by Tim D
Oct 10, 2012

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.

3 star rating
by Charissa
Sep 25, 2012

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!

4 star rating
by Marsha Laskey
Sep 16, 2012

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 rating
by Kay Adams
Sep 12, 2012

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!

3 star rating
by Tracey
Sep 03, 2012

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.

4 star rating
by Julie Schooler
Sep 02, 2012

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.

5 star rating
by Eseta Nicholls
Aug 29, 2012

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.

5 star rating
by Amber Healey
Aug 26, 2012

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.

5 star rating
by The Zookeeper's Son
Jul 30, 2012

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.
Cheers Dave.

3 star rating
by Greg Parr
Jul 15, 2012

Food ok steak very good, service very good lots of extras need to go with the meal, quiet a lot of noise

4 star rating
by Blitz Y
Jul 08, 2012

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!

4 star rating
by Marci Mead
Apr 29, 2012

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!

5 star rating
by RH
Apr 19, 2012

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!

5 star rating
by Tara Britain
Apr 15, 2012

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).

3 star rating
by Rachael
Apr 03, 2012

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.

4 star rating
by Charlotte
Mar 30, 2012

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

5 star rating
by Olga Parker
Feb 12, 2012

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.

5 star rating
by Loulou Ngaei
Feb 08, 2012

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!

3 star rating
by Marie
Jan 26, 2012

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.

4 star rating
by Dion N
Nov 19, 2011

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!

2 star rating
by David Toms
Nov 13, 2011

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

5 star rating
by Sharelle
Oct 29, 2011

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.

3 star rating
by David Boshier
Oct 20, 2011

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.

5 star rating
by Samantha Lim
Sep 17, 2011

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.

5 star rating
by Henri
Sep 15, 2011

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.

5 star rating
by Mark
Sep 15, 2011

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.

4 star rating
by Roz8
Sep 14, 2011

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!

4 star rating
Sep 10, 2011

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.