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Gusto at the Grand - Skycity Grand Hotel

5 star rating 39 reviews

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09 3637030

Skycity Grand Hotel, 90 CBD, Federal Street, Auckland

6:30 AM to 10:30 AM, 12 Noon to 2:30 PM, 5 PM to 10 PM (Mon-Fri), 6:30 AM to 11 AM, 12 Noon to 2:30 PM, 5 PM to 10 PM (Sat-Sun)


Reviews for Gusto at the Grand - Skycity Grand Hotel

5 star rating
by Marina
6 days ago

I have been here over 10 times with my sister and family. The service is always great. The staff are friendly and very accommodating. We have gotten to know them over the past year. There is actually a discount for parking. Make sure you ask them to validate your Sky City Ticket! 
Lovely food. The bread and olives are so nice as well as the olive oil with it! 
The wine list is great, albeit a bit pricey!
Fabulous food! Famous Duck Papedelle ! very good ! the fish is great too! 
My sister loves the tiramisu. 
The restaurant is hidden past reception at the Grand.

5 star rating
by L.E.N.S
23 days ago

I dined at Gusto at the Grand with a couple of friends, and had a fun Italian-style dining experience. Gusto is located on the ground floor of The Skycity Grand Hotel- tucked away at the back it almost doesn't look like a restaurant so much as it does a fancy lounge area.

We were seated immediately (with no reservation) and waited on by the hospitable service staff. The extensive dinner menu is Italian/European and designed to share, which is always good fun. Therefore we ordered a mixture of the king prawns, squid, clam pasta, a chicken meatball dish, olives, and the mushroom gnocchi dish. All the food was so full of flavour and herbs, simply tasty! For dessert we had the panacotta, which I cannot recommend more highly. It was just absolutely delicious - not too sweet, full flavours and melt-in-your mouth texture. Bring a full wallet because the average dish price is roughly $20-$30, and if you want the full "sharing menu" experience, you will be ordering quite a few.

Overall, an understated yet classic little restaurant, full of wonderful, wonderful food! Lots of fun if you're happy to share the food around and try a little bit of everything!

5 star rating
by Russell Vincent
30 days ago

We had a private dinner for 12 and were afforded a room at the end of the main restaurant. The room was wonderful with an Oak ceiling and dimmed lights adding to the ambience. The minimum number of people for this room is 15 (if you want to guarantee a private function) The staff pointed out we could be joined by any restaurant 'over -fill' but this never occurred.
Very attentive staff, delicious food and no pressure over our eating time/s.
The mains pasta was a little salty but otherwise compliments all round. 
The Champagne was not too shabby either.
We will be back!

5 star rating
by Maddie
one month ago

One of my favourite restaurants. We normally start with the garlic and rosemary pizza, the fried calamari and the pea and mint bruschetta. The pizza is very tasty, although it is quite small and last time I went it had way too much salt on it. The calamari doesn't have a lot of flavour to it, but the lemon aioli makes up for that. The bruschetta is my favourite, it's very refreshing and the mint isn't too over powering. The lamb rack with roasted capsicum is my favourite dish, the meat is very soft and the skin is niceley seasoned and crispy. The meat from the beef cheeks falls apart and is super juicy, I'll normally get a side of the pear and parmesean salad as I find that it balances out the richness of the sauce from the beef cheeks, the duck fat and rosemary potatoes are a must have. Very efficient staff, highly recommend!

5 star rating
by Leila Khan
one month ago

Simple and delicious with classic flavours. Gusto just cannot do wrong in my eyes. The chargrilled octupus is to die for. And the Lewis Road pannacotta just melts in your mouth causing an explosion of spring flavours πŸ’―πŸ‘Œ

5 star rating
by Alisha Ophelia
2 months ago

I had the most gorgeous dinner here with a friend. Being a vegetarian had the "orgy of mushrooms, clevedon buffalo ricotta gnocchi"- absolutely exquisite. The garlic Rosemary pizzetta is a great starter- I do wish it was bigger! To finish we shared a couple of desserts- the salted caramel popcorn semifreddo and the warm chocolate pudding, pistachio gelato. Left feeling so full and floating on cloud 9. Will definitely be back to try the wild porcini mushroom risotto and the baker eggplant parmigiana. Usually I avoid Italian restaurants without pizza but gusto at the grand is a must for all Italian food lovers.

4 star rating
by Kellie Lee
2 months ago

After being told we had to wait around an hour and a half for a seat at Depot for dinner on a Tuesday night( as expected), we decided to just try something else Skycity had to offer; leading us to le ~Gusto at the Grand~ :D The restaurant was relatively queit but had a lovely dark ambience that shouted out $$$ and class. Our friendly waitress sat us down with some water and told us the popular dishes customers usually went for. After much debate, we had opted for the Beef cheeks, Chargrilled octopus, the dack and pea ragu Papadelle, cloudy bay clams with spaghetti and duck fat potatoes.

Cloudy bay clams spaghetti: As a 'fine dining' restaurant, I had expected all four dishes to come at the same time but the spaghetti came out first and long before the others ( spaghetti for entree? why not). Although it looked simplistic and plain, this dish was actually bursting with flavour and perfectly balanced with the right amount of Parmesan; both pasta and clams were beautifully cooked and super fresh too! My second favourite dish for the night, 8/10. Note: it is quite a small dish, but probably perfect size for one person who's a relatively small eater. 

Duck & Pea ragu parpadelle: THIS! was the dish of the day for me ( it was close between the two pasta dishes tho). This was the second dish that came out ( by itself again, whats going on lol) and shared amongst the four of us. Packed full with rich hearty flavours and generous portions of duck; the parpadelle was also cooked to perfection. Gusto is defs the place to go for all your pasta lovers, HIGH RECCOMMENDED!! 9/10, Can get quite rich to eat by yourself tho so I'd suggest sharing or getting a side dish with it 

Beef Cheeks: Finally, the big dishes. I was extremely excited to try this dish as I'd never had beef cheeks before; although soft and easy to pull apart, I was quite disappointed with this dish as the sauce it was served with was quite bland and overly salty. For $30, I'd get a pasta dish any day. Defs a dish for sharing tho. 6.5/10

Chargrilled Octopus: THIS, was the biggest disappointment of the night. Was super excited for this dish as well, but when I had taken my first bite of octopus, it had an extremely bitter and unpleasant taste as it was burnt and almost completely black in some parts. When I asked a waiter, he had said it was meant to be this burnt as it's 'chargrilled', but I'm seriously questioning his definition of chargrilled haha. The potatoes and salad it was served with were really good tho, Wouldnt get this dish again. 4.5/10 

Duck fat potatoes: Cant go wrong with these!! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, yumyumyum really good as a side dish to soak up any sauce you guys have. Could be seasoned a bit more tho haha 8/10

DESSERT! We weren't quite content ending on a savoury note; so of course we HAD to try out one dessert at least. We opted for the salted caramel popcorn semifreddo, and what came out was not what I was expecting ( loked like a popcorn banana haha). The entire dish was overpowered by the delicious salted caramel sauce that it was drenched in ( couldnt taste anything else haha); for one person ( or even two), this may have been extremely sickly to eat but for four it wasnt too bad. Nothing special in my opinion, would skip out on dessert next time. 6/10

Overall, service was good and ambience was fantastic, especially for a first date or something ( lady and tramp style ;) ). The dishes were a hit and miss for me as the pasta dishes ended up being the stars of the night. If I came back, I would probably stick to what Italians do best and try out their other pasta dishes as their meat mains and dessert were slightly disappointing.

Dish reccommended: Duck& Ragu parpadelle :))

5 star rating
by Nicky
2 months ago

We had a family dinner at Gusto at the Grand tonight. It was such a fun experience, because we were seated at the Chef's table, which is literally inside part of the kitchen. It felt like we were really amongst it! It was exciting to hear/see all that was going on in the kitchen and how the clever chef's juggle all the orders in such a timely manner while still presenting all the dishes so beautifully. The service was really good, and our waiter/chef basically designed us a menu of the best dishes and altered it slightly to our preferences. We found the food really rich but delicous. Calamari was too salty, but otherwise everything was A++ and we would definitely return. Thanks for a great night!

4 star rating
by Jaffa
2 months ago

Service with a smile and simple clean dishes is on order at Gusto.
We were seated at a high table in the dimly lit area behind the bar but this was mainly due to a Friday booking for Saturday evening.. If you want a better table I would recommend booking in advance.
Shares Starters of pizetta, ricotta and baked mozzarella were tasty and fresh but the stand out had to be the meatballs and eggplant parmigiana!! Definitely more rich and decadent flavours!
We all went for individual mains including duck Parpadelle, mushroom risotto, ravioli and lamb... All tasty dishes but varying in sizes. If I was to eat here again (which I would recommend) I would try to order a variety of meat and pasta/sides to share!
Service with a smile... And good for a bit of celebrity spotting too!

4 star rating
by Gentlepig
3 months ago

Gusto at the Grand is as it suggests - there's a sense of grandeur regarding the establishment. From entrance, the dining area is hidden from the passers by, making you feel as though you're in a much smaller boutique restaurant. Service is impeccable as per SkyCity's usual standards, and the menu will satisfy even the most discerning Italian aficionado. We started with the mozzarella & walnuts - from your first bite, you're able to tell the chefs are masters of their ingredients. The cheese is not overwhelmingly rich, and has a supple texture (anyone can make mozzarella stretchy and tough). The calamari we had was of no special note, but the roast duck pappardelle was measured perfectly. Of special note is the beef cheek and the veal, both are mouthwateringly tender and brilliantly flavored. Gripes - there aren't many. The dishes could I guess be a tad more flamboyant, and the snapper with its mussels felt like it didn't belong with the theme. The glasses are grotesque; brown clear glasses that are seen much further down the fiscal food chain. However, overall an excellent dining experience; special mention to our sponsor for the night too.

5 star rating
by Lochbuie
3 months ago

We had read an article on the Gusto at the Grand in Viva a few weeks ago recommending the Italian lunch on Sunday, so today we went with high expectations of the quality of the food. Not only were we not disappointed, but our expectations were exceeded. The lunch ($49 + free parking at Sky City) is based around a traditional Italian lunchtime feast. The antipasto buffet was a treat with a delicious array of cold cuts & traditional antipasto fare, and warm dishes. All the dishes (including the following courses) were simple but using the best quality ingredients and each with its distinctive balance of flavours. The pasta course was spaghetti with clams, and the third course was pork & veal meatballs in a tomato sauce served on creamy polenta. This was followed by tiramisu and coffee. Cheeses and bread from the buffet were also still available.
Gusto truly delivered a dining experience in warm relaxed surroundings, and the staff were all charming, attentive, and very professional, explaining the dishes and refreshing the settings for each course. We will certainly be back again!

4 star rating
by Jakarra Brady
3 months ago

The best service I've ever had at high class resteraunt, waiters offered explain the menu and suggested perfect sides for our meals. There were plenty of vegetarian options which was amazing, though the potatoes were slightly bland. The tables were a little close for comfort but and all round excellent meal!

5 star rating
by Jay
4 months ago

Business dinner at gusto last night. Had the privilege of being at the chef's table. Absolutely amazing experience. We trusted the chef and boy was it a good idea. Epic selection of food. The bread and dip with truffle set the tone for the evening and the bar was set high. Too many dishes to mention Here but my fav was the lamb chop. Nice n pink and aahh beautiful.

5 star rating
by Geoff Cronhelm
5 months ago

Ate here last week, had the veal and carpaccio, both were beautiful. Atmosphere was nice, spacious and roomy. The chefs table looked fun and I'd be tempted to try that next time.

4 star rating
by Fylde
6 months ago

Having been to the Grill a few times and being a fan of Italian food I took my family to Gusto. We arrived after a comedy show and the service was great - they fixed up a booking mix up which was my fault. The bread was really tasty but could have been served with some quality olive oil.For mains we had a variety  (there was 5 of us) and the Pappardelle was a standout.Deserts were pleasant but presentation was lacking.

5 star rating
by Stephen Potter
6 months ago

Came here for dinner mid week. Restaurant was busy and had good friendly vibe. Could not fault the service which was friendly, informed and attentive. We started with olives and cold meats with a good glass of chianti.
These were excellent and was the chunks of Parmesan that accompanied them.
The main was duck ragu with papardelle and the pasta was like silk, the duck soft and melt in the mouth gorgeous.

A small whiskey to finish off - a small criticism here - not a wide range of single malts in an international hotel but only a small gripe.

Overall a very good meal and we will be back.

5 star rating
by Aniva Huang
6 months ago

We came here on Valentine's Day and has the Valentine's Day set menu.

Since it was our first time here having a set menu was a good idea since we had no idea what to order.

The cloudy bay clams and lamb was amazing.
Actually all the courses were delicious except the dessert. It was cute but it's taste did not live up to its previous courses.

We definitely will be coming back again though!!

4 star rating
by Eli A
6 months ago

I have to admit that I was at Gusto quite some time ago, closer to the beginning of the year. Thoroughly enjoyed the meal though. They had a 2 course lunch special at that time, so I went with my friend. Between us we had the gnocchi and crudo for entree and for the main, we had tuna pasta and wood-fire chicken. All the dishes were good, the gnocchi and the chicken were sublime. I'll be going back here.

4 star rating
by A Culinary Affair
6 months ago

The back story : I first encountered Gusto when visiting Skycity Grand Hotel. Mesmerised by its grand decor, the chandeliers outside and the spacious open plan restaurant setting, I was tempted to try this. Located in the old premises of Dine by Peter Gordon, it has retained its classy decor and grand interior, and with the name Sean Connolly attached to the food - I made it my next place to visit for a dinner out.

Setting: Walking through the revolving doors of Skycity Grand, I am taken into a world of luxury with chandeliers from the ceiling, floral art on the walls then at the end, a bright sign proudly announcing Gusto. I was tempted. Past the white pillars with green ivy vine lay the spacious interior of Gusto. We are promptly taken to a table along the wall with brown leather looking seats. Our wait staff enthusiastically introduced the menu.

Food: Tapas style dishes litter the menu from the cheapest item on the menu - the house bread- to more substantial items of meatballs, eggplant and calamari. Fresh handmade pasta dishes are the signature dishes here though other scrumptious sounding options of baby chicken , beef brisket and lamb cutlets are on offer. We end up ordering the calamari and pork and veal meatballs with a garlic pizetta on the side. The meatballs did not disappoint - juicy and flavoursome in a tomato sauce with cheese. The calamari was crispy though slightly on the salty side. The pizetta was presented in a cute little pizza box though the serving size was probably a bit small for price especially considering how much bread we got for the house bread - which was definitely value for money. All in all the entrees were great. Next were the mains - baby chicken, king prawns, slow cooked beef brisket and the duck ragu pappardelle. Unfortunately these were less convincing. Although the beef brisket was very tender - melting in the mouth - as was the baby chicken - both lacked the spark in flavour to bring it up a notch. There also seemed to be a preponderance of parsley in the dishes - either in the form of gremolata or as garnish - parsley was a noticeable part of all the dishes! The winning main this time was the pappardelle and judging from other reviews, it would have been safer to stick to the pasta dishes. The chicken was pink towards the bones; and whilst we were reassured it was perfectly safe - I didn't want to risk it. This was handled very well though and Gusto wins points in that regard in handling feedback. The chicken was swiftly replaced by another dish of our choosing after checking with the chef. And although the mains were not as exceptional as the entrees - we did end up with a happy ending with delicious desserts. My pick here is definitely the Nutella bomboli - warm crunchy sugar coated donuts filled with Nutella oozing out from the centre. I couldn't help but have more - and for $10 it's a steal. Definitely could come back just for the bomboli!

Occasion : For a fine dining night out where atmosphere and service is high on the want list or for a group wanting the opportunity to share dishes. A bit of a mixed review on the food but there were definitely signature dishes that were done well. Would have scored a 4 at least otherwise.

Revisit potential : 8/10

5 star rating
by Paris Macartney
7 months ago

Nov 2015
Back for more, I think I'm a regular here now! I just can't get a good enough warming chocolate fix anywhere else! That hot chocolate pudding is to die for so rich but I can still eat two! An have done so a few to many times!

2nd review:
Having been back to Gusto now can assure that the food quality here is superb an always to a high standard the snappers always fresh however often has come out a little undercooked in centre an have sent back but worth the wait to get further cooked to my liking. The roast eggplant, zucchini, capsicum with mint an chill it always tender an delicious. My company tried the ricotta spinach gnocchi things an were nice also. An recently tried their chocolate pudding/foundant which is amazing! Fully of chocolaty goodness! Better than blue breeze in which I found rather to rich an sickly.

1st review:
Dinner here early before a show were only ones in restaurant, people began arriving as we began to order. I opted for the fresh snapper an sautéed veg (surprise ☺️) was very delicious an cooked perfectly. My sister got the duck an pea rage pappardelle which she said was very tasty. Service was good an for dessert tiramisu they kindly were able to add a side of raspberries to compliment the dessert. Had great flavour but very rich a little too much mascarpone I always prefer a tiramisu heavy in the sponge an less thick cream but still tasty.

4 star rating
by Annette Wong
8 months ago

Delicious italian food served in a luxurious place. Great setting and atmosphere. Great varieties of Italian pasta. Very friendly staff who made my birthday extra special

3 star rating
by Iamcii
9 months ago

Ive been here twice. Once for dinner and once for breakfast. Value for money isn't great. Dishes are small and expensive. Food is not bad but, pretty average. For breakfast options were scarce, especially hot food options and portions were not sufficient. However, the fresh squeezed orange juice machine is amazing. Its self service and you just need to press the button. For dinner dishes didn't really feel satisfying. The portions were tiny, nothing really was main sized but, at the same time you couldn't call them tapas. Price and portions don't corroborate. In terms of taste its pretty average. Service was good. Staff was nice and attentive. Would not go here again though. Value for money rating: 0/5

5 star rating
by Mitali Mohan
9 months ago

Had my birthday dinner last night with frnds at gusto and it turned out to be a gr8 hit....the food ws just fabulous... authentic italian food.. gr8 ambience and friendly staff sums up my evening at gusto
Since we wer 7 people and gusto had a sharing menu we could try a good number of dishes on their menu...
We had orgy of mushroom wid potato gnochhi, zucchini flower, ravioli, lamb cutlets, baby chicken, antipasto, veal and a few more things dat i dont remember the name of..
All dishes wer spot on.. bt the 1 dish which stood out fr me was d gnochhi... it ws soo soft and tasty... i being a vegetarian dint try a non veg dishes bt from wat my frnds told me i cud make out that they really liked lamb cutlets
Overall good food and experience... will definitely go back for more..

4 star rating
by Tess
9 months ago

Great service but food not to our liking! Calamari a bit dry, meatballs nothing special, grilled octopus a bit bitter, pasta and risotto was okay but none we can say its our favourite!

5 star rating
by Tony Frost
10 months ago

We were really impressed by this place overall. The food is of a great quality and genuinely really tasty. The service was outstanding.They have found a really nice balance.The main waiting crew dressed in a casual uniform with the matre D more formally dressed.Helpfull always but not overpowering. The staff have a great knowledge of their menu and their wine list.  The food is arranged to be shared with a group of friends or family.In my opinion its all hearty Italian food but always of really good quality  Perhaps the only critique of the place is that its not easy to find the entrance as its at the back of the Grand hotel Foyer alongside the inhouse bar. You could argue its part of the "casino complex" but IMO its more part of the grand hotels superb range of eateries

5 star rating
by David Boshier
10 months ago

Being based in an international hotel lifts the service to another level. The menu is based on sharing plates which allows you to sample a wide range of interesting dishes. I found it hard to go past the veal chop and mushroom gnocchi. Make a night of it and get a taxi.

5 star rating
by Ninjunkie
10 months ago

Wonderful! We had new year's eve dinner here at Gusto and couldn't have gone better! Before coming to the restaurant I had mixed expectations because of the different reviews I have read online. But now I can truly say for myself that this place has high quality food and has surpassed my expectations. The food is just lovely from entree to dessert. The place has a romantic feel to it but is also great for family dinner or with friends. It has an elegant style but is not too intimidating,especially for first time goers. The staff were very friendly and helpful. 
I also loved that Gusto encourages sharing food,which makes it more special for me. Because there's nothing more intimate than sharing food with your loved ones. 
Foodwise we had baked eggplants, house bread and cray fish pasta. I enjoyed everything, especially the cray fish pasta. It was seasoned perfectly and the pasta was cooked really well. The baked eggplants were delicious and just melts in your mouth. They complemented each other so well. For dessert we had chocolate pudding with pistachio ice cream and marsala zambaglione and we enjoyed it very much. 
This was a worthwhile dining experience and celebration.

4 star rating
by Gus
11 months 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

4 star rating
by UltimateOmNoms
Nov 26, 2014

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!

5 star rating
by Jo Y
Nov 16, 2014

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.

4 star rating
by Kerry Knight
Oct 25, 2014

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 !

3 star rating
by Miss Kiki
Oct 23, 2014

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.

5 star rating
by Amy @ My Dining Journey
Oct 03, 2014

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!

3 star rating
by Dining Enthusiast
Sep 06, 2014

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, the beef carpaccio was sliced too thick 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.

4 star rating
by Muy-Cheng Lov
Aug 08, 2014

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!!!

4 star rating
by Carmella @ Easy Food Hacks
May 06, 2014

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.

5 star rating
by Wolfie W
May 05, 2014

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 star rating
by Aidan
Apr 29, 2014

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.

4 star rating
by Hamish Caithness
Apr 28, 2014

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.