The Grill by Sean Connolly (5)
SkyCity Grand Hotel, 70 Federal St, City. Ph 363-7067.
Lunch Monday-Friday; dinner 7 days.
Entering from the street, you pass a wall of wine to one side and a raw bar piled up with oysters and a large white-tiled kitchen on the other. It’s exciting: this, clearly, is a place to get serious about eating. The Grill, created right before us last year on reality TV by English-turned-Aussie chef Sean Connolly, is a New York-style upmarket steak and oyster bar, and though you can order fine fish dishes and other plated things that do not drip red juice, meat really is the thing. Steaks come on a board, as is the fashion, with knives designed by Peter Lorimer not just for easy cutting but, with their big flat blades and overall heft, to make you feel more than a little like you’ve hunted the beast yourself. Chips, made from Agria potatoes with duck fat, are served in a paper twist. The staff are attentive and the wine list is a superb showcase for the country’s finest.
A favourite dish: Wagyu scotch fillet.
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