Reviews for Gusto at the Grand - Skycity Grand Hotel
4 days ago
My better half had an advance encounter with Gusto and enjoyed it so much that I had to see for myself. It is difficult to accurately judge, as we ate the Xmas set menu, but I can only discuss what we ate. We started with antipasto; I enjoyed the bread and ricotta with pinenuts, the olives too, but as a fan of the pig I was in heaven with the quality and selection of meats. This was followed by the orgy of mushroom gnocchi. For me, this was the standout dish of the night. The gnocchi were beautiful soft and light pillows, the mushrooms were flavorsome, this was the best gnocchi I have tasted. The slow roasted beef brisket came next, and I had mixed feelings about this. In places the meat was a tad dry, other parts where the fat content was higher were soft and moist. The meat had a pleasant smoky flavour, the portion size was generous; I was one of the few at the table to finish. The meat was accompanied by salsa verde which helped to cut the richness of the brisket, aided by the side of rocket with parmesan. The duck roasted potatoes on the side were suitably yummy too. I rounded out the evening with an affogato and sharing the warm chocolate pudding. Soft, gooey and rich, it was everything a pudding should be. The wine list was very good, the service was excellent, efficient and ever present without being cloying. All in all I enjoyed the meal, I would be interested to return and try more of the menu
24 days ago
Federal Street is famous with the line-up of award-winning eateries, especially after Masu swept up the coveted Restaurant of the Year after Depot Eatery in 2012. Gusto at the Grand takes over the atmosphere from former Dine by Peter Gordon, with sweeping chandeliers and grand paintings. Though there’s something ironic with the rustic Italian ambiance that Gusto is trying to achieve by donning their waiters in overalls whilst being surrounded by marbled walls.
With the menu designed by Sean Connolly, famous for his television series and The Grill next door, Connolly’s philosophy continues with his quest for simple food and letting fresh ingredients do the talking. I love the idea of sharing plates at Gusto, it’s the perfect excuse to nab at your partner’s food without seeming overly greedy.
Antipasto, which literally means “before the meal” is meant to stimulate your appetite before the main meal. With your expected salami, prosciutto and olives, one addition is the freshly shaved lardo. I wasn’t too excited about eating “lard” per say but it’s an acquired taste as you let the thin slices slowly dissolve in your mouth.
The calamari and prawns were lightly seasoned without the weight of oily batter which makes it perfect to nibble at between mouthfuls of pasta or heavy meat. Apart from that, it was hardly memorable as the aioli was a bit bland and I found myself squeezing more lemon than necessary to jazz up the taste.
The baby chicken was one of the more memorable dishes – beautiful and tender. It was seasoned simply with lemon and garlic, and the freshness and honesty was comforting. Arguably, I should have expected more excitement at a prestige Skycity restaurant, but it was a good change from trying to figure out the myriad of ingredients and foams on fine-dining plates.
Gusto makes their pastas in-house and being an Italian restaurant, I couldn’t leave without trying at least one of their pastas. Personally this was the highlight of the meal with the ravioli being beautiful chewy and infused with flavour. Even with it filled with potato, it didn’t feel heavy or uncomfortable and I found myself easily reaching for seconds.
I’m a huge fan of Lewis Road butter and milk so this pannacotta was a must-have when I first saw it on the menu. When it came in a pool of dessert soup, I was a bit alarmed. The idea of a beautifully creamily formed pannacotta was knocked straight out of my head. In the midst of the creamy liquidness, I settled in to spoon up the pinenuts and passionfruit – which wasn’t all that bad, but I would have preferred my pannacotta pudding.
It was as any good chocolate pudding should be – seductively warm and oozing in the centre with the ice cream to cool the heat of it on the tongue. The highlight was the pistachio gelato with the pistachio granules evident in every mouthful.
As with every Skycity restaurant, there are many expectations to be met. Gusto was highly raved about and there have been mixed reviews from diners. We did enjoy great service from the staff who were genuinely caring but professional. I felt the food bore a high price tag from what was offered, but if you are after simple and honest food with fresh ingredients and want a break from the white table cloth scene – give Gusto a go and let me know how you like it!
by Jo Yearsley
one month ago
Absolutely outstanding. Very engaging service. We were with a group of 6 which is the best way to do it as you can get to try a variety of dishes. The charcuterie is outstanding. The orgy of mushrooms is great and the boar pappardelle is excellent. Excellent wine list. No complaints at all.
by Kerry Knight
one month ago
After being in Italy it's hard to find nz Italian that measures up. Gusto does and would have got 5/5 but for the costs. Very good Italian wine selection BTW . ask your waitperson to just bring a selection of food and you don't be disappointed !
by Miss Kiki
one month ago
I had reasonably high expectations for our meal here. We had the veal with the tuna aioli, beef carpaccio and the pea mint ricotta bruschetta to start. Followed by the Sardinian ravioli and the orgy of mushrooms. The bruschetta was the star out of the three small plates. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the other 2 dishes. The beef carpaccio was not really carpaccio, from my understanding carpaccio means sliced very thin - this was not the case here. It was considerably thick, and although good quality beef, not to my taste. The veal was delicious, in this instance I would not fault how it was cooked, the flavour combination just did not work for me.
The Sardinian ravioli was very bland - again, this might be a matter of taste, I do like strong flavours. The orgy of mushrooms was the better of the two larger dishes, this had more flavour, but I do prefer mushroom cooked quite well. I am not a fan of almost raw mushroom, not sure if this is the intention of the dish or a fault.
As for the dessert, I had Rum Baba which was very delicious. Someone else at the table had chocolate pudding which was also good. I was happy with the canoli but not as memorable as canoli I had in NY.
Overall, nothing was exceptionally awful but nothing was great either.
I was going to order the sardines but forgot to order it by the time the waitress took the order and was kind of glad I did so that I couldn't be disappointed any further.
The restaurant was very cold and quite empty on a Tuesday night. The atmosphere was nice and the service was ok.
I won't be back, to me the menu looked fantastic on paper but was not executed very well or to my hopes and expectations.
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
2 months ago
I have some wonderful friends and last weekend, they took the time to celebrated my birthday with an amazing dinner at Gusto at the Grand. An Italian restaurant on Federal Street and part of the Sky City Grand Hotel, Gusto serves rustic Italian cuisine that is elegantly simple with classic flavours and fresh ingredients.
The menu designed by Sean Connolly is made for sharing and is divided into small, medium and larger dishes. With plenty of vegetarian options and variety, we order a few medium and larger dishes to share between a group of five.
The Orgy of Mushrooms with potato gnocchi. An interesting name which perfectly describes our first dish as it was packed with assorted mushrooms. The soft potato gnocchi had a light and airy texture and everything was combined with a buttery mushroom sauce. The linguine with 'Fruits of the Sea' was our second pasta dish. Al-dente linguine cooked in a tangy tomato sauce with mussels, clams, prawns, fish and calamari, this pasta dish was well-received by us.
From the larger dishes selection, we ordered the hapuka tail saltimbocca and the crumbed veal cutlet. The hapuka tail was first prepared by wrapping with thin slices of salty prosciutto and then pan fried. The prosciutto kept the fish moist and tender inside and we garnished it with freshly squeeze lemon juice and a caper oil concoction which have a fragrant aroma that went very well with the fish.
The lightly crumbed veal cutlet was tender and cooked just a touch over medium rare. Delicious flavours with a melt in your mouth texture. However, it could be dramatically improved with a side of sauce which would have increased the moisture of the dish. Our sides of duck fat roasted potatoes and brocollini kept our meal balanced with starch and greens.
We finished our meal with one of the best desserts I've tried and that was Gusto's hazelnut semifreddo with a gooey salted caramel centre. A creamy hazelnut semifreddo coated with crushed hazelnut, this was spectacular and I would come back just to have another plate of this!
I've been wanting to try Gusto since it opened and I was pleased that I got to share this meal with some of my dearest friends. The luxurious dining area is open and spacious, creating a lively atmosphere and I was very intrigued by the thoughtful things around the restaurant which included a giant wheel of cheese, the colossal artwork of an octopus near the ceiling and the gorgeous water glasses made from the bottom of wine bottles!
by Dining Enthusiast
3 months ago
This place just didn't do it for me.
The fit-out seems a little dated, the waitress was unpolished and pushy and the food was bland.
The bread which comes in a pizza box was too rustic for the price tag, the veal cutlet was boring and the wild mushroom gnocchi was bland. The stand out dish was the homemade ricotta but this is hardly a technical challenge for what should be a superior kitchen.
Perhaps we chose the wrong dishes but with such a pushy waitress I don't think we managed to get any of our original choices.
by Muy-Cheng Lov
4 months ago
I have wanted to try Gusto for several months, so thought a romantic dinner would be a perfect excuse. We ordered a lovely bottle of red wine, the Gran Sasso which was delicious. The dishes are designed to share so we ordered the penne all'Amatriciana, the wood fired baby chicken and a side of the duck fat roasted potatoes for the two of us. The food does not disappoint. The penne reminded us of pasta we had eaten in Roma. The chicken was tender and tasty, and the potatoes roasted to perfection. After all that food we were stuffed! There's always room for dessert though, and my husband insisted on having the Gorgonzola blue cheese with honeycomb, while I ate the melt in your mouth pannacotta. The crunchiness of the pine nuts were a great taste complement to the passion fruit. The service was impeccable. Friendly and informative but not over the top in your face. Will definitely be back!!!
7 months ago
Gusto (pronounced guh-stoh, definitely not goose-toh) at The Grand is Sean Connolly’s latest restaurant in the SkyCity complex (after the superb The Grill). Gusto is marketed as a cucina (Italian for kitchen) and bar, and is the renowned chef’s take on a rustic Italian restaurant. They have a pasta station where if you’re lucky you can see the deft chefs at work, and there is a Parmagiano-Reggiano wheel taking centre stage where delicious morsels are cut from. BL and I took my mum here as we wanted somewhere where we could talk (tick), great service (tick), nice ambience (tick), and above average food (sort-of tick).
We started with the pork veal meatballs which was served with tomato sauce and pecorino ($12). While this was tasty, we have been spoilt by some very excellent meatballs at other establishments, and found the sauce not savoury enough and the meatball slightly rubbery. The fried calamari ($21) was tender, but on the oily side and the garlic aioli was bland and unmemorable.
The next two dishes were excellent though. The linguini fruits of the sea ($29) was beautiful; perfectly al dente fresh pasta, and perfectly cooked and seasoned fresh seafood. And the hapuka tail saltimbocca ($42) lived up to the hype. The sage, capers and prosciutto lifted the taste of the succulent hapuka. This is a huge dish, which the three of us struggled to get through.
Disappointedly, the chocolate fondant was undercooked and cold in the centre. As with an establishment of this calibre, once we told the staff, the apologies was swift and genuine, and the price was taken off the final total.
I loved the surroundings, décor and service. So many places are too cramped with poor acoustics, it was great to go somewhere and be able to have a conversation. The food was good, but could have been better.
by Wolfie W
7 months ago
We dined here on Friday night, arriving at 7.30pm. There seemed to be a little confusion over our booking but we were shown to a table quickly and seated. On this point I would have to say they are certainly ensuring the person per square metre ratio is high... we were in very close proximity to our dining neighbours as is oft the way, unfortunately.
We ordered the Pea, Mint and Ricotta Bruschetta to share and it was a revelation - an explosion of flavour, to die for. Worth going for that alone! This was followed by the Spinach Ricotta Gnudi with fresh tomato and basil sauce for me, and the Papardelle with Wild Boar Ragu for my husband. He pronounced it delicious and proceeded to devour every last bit. My gnudi was delightful - full of bursting flavours and fresh, clean taste - not at all heavy, it was perfectly executed and I would have it again in a moment.
The fit out is stylish, and reminds me of our recent trip to Melbourne where EVERYTHING oozes chic and sophistication, however unlike our dining experiences across the ditch Gusto seems to have got it just a bit wrong in terms of ambience, with music too loud, too upbeat, and just a bit too 20 something. That combined with the tightly squeezed tables disappointed me, but the food is most definitely very, very good. A little more engagement from the waiter would have been nice too, he was perfectly good at the technical aspect of his role, but could have been a touch more friendly. All in all, a great addition to our dining scene.
7 months ago
We arrived at Gusto at around 6pm, and were promptly seated (a group of seven). We were waited by the manager of the restaurant who's service was faultless all evening.
We all shared dishes which started with a mix of the ricotta, bruschetta, calamari and olives.
We then had the Lamb cutlets, The Veal, Mushroom Risotto, The Wild Boar Ragu, Roast Potatoes, and the Linguini. All of which were superb - but worth a special mention were the Potatoes and the Ragu!
We then had a dessert of the Rum Baba.
Overall, the experience and service was faultless.
by Hamish Caithness
7 months ago
We celebrated the birthday of one of our best friends with a meal at Gusto, Skycity. We left the choice of appetizers to the kitchen and were not disappointed - the calamari and the meatballs were stand-out dishes. My wife's pappardelle with wild boar ragu was outstanding but I was slightly disappointed with my ravioli. Service from our Italian waitress was friendly and efficient. Wine list was extensive and while not cheap we managed to find very good wines at a reasonable price.
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