Reviews for Gusto at the Grand - Skycity Grand Hotel
by My Dining Journey
18 days 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
one month 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
2 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!!!
5 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
5 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.
5 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
5 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.