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SKYCITY Grand Hotel,
90 Federal Street,
Auckland Central

(09) 363 7067

The Grill by Sean Connolly Information

Sean Connolly’s The Grill is an established dining favourite of ‘in the know’ Aucklanders, with a taste for great quality food. The premise is good honest fare with a distinctly Kiwi accent, created from the fresh local produce, including pasture-fed meat and sustainable seafood. If you’re simply looking for a delicious meal out with friends, The Grill by Sean Connolly should be high on your list of top dining spots.

Opening Hours
Saturday to Thursday
Lunch: midday until 2:30pm
Dinner: 5:30pm until 10:30pm

Christmas Trading:
Closed 21st-26th December inclusive. Re-open 27th -31st December inclusive, dinner service only except for the 31st when we will do lunch and dinner. Closed 1st-6th January inclusive, then re-open for dinner only from January 7th. Fridays midday until 10:30pm
Advisable on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Avg Food Spend
$$$$ per person
Food Info
Set Lunch Menu, A La Carte Menu
A high standard of dress is politely requested
Metro Top 50 - 2012
Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year 2012 - SUPREME WINNER
Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year 2012 - Best New Restaurant 2012
Am Ex imageEftpos imageMastercard imageVisa image
Disabled Facilities
Wheelchair Access, Disabled Toilets

The Grill by Sean Connolly User reviews

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Reviewer citykid
After being on the Auckland scene for a few years now I still rate The Grill as one of the best restaurants despite a lot of quality venues opening up in recent years.
I've visited in 3 times now, twice for dinner and the third for an express lunch - really great to see this sort of initiative at a quality venue like this.
It's hard to go past the steak and duck fat chips (with chimichurri sauce) but if you're after something a bit different, try the gnocchi.
Service is also unquestionably amongst Auckland's very best - salivating at the prospect of another visit to The Grill as I write!
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Reviewer 73holden
A supplier treated our company to The Grill by Sean Connolly in the week just gone and man, now I can see why people rave about this restaurant.
Awesome food and a very cool setting - I thought it would be pretentious but the staff's attitude couldn't be further from this.
I'm glad I wasn't footing the bill but if I'm craving a great steak then The Grill is where I'd be heading to!
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My 2nd time at the Grill and although I still think the food is amazing and with rather huge portions the service on this occasion was very poor. I think our waiter was relatively new and got flustered at his first wine mixing error so went on to making mistake after mistake as well as missing taking my order entirely. And the butter came out after the bread had already been consumed. There were only 8 of us in our group.

Steak tartare was made tableside for two of our group which was interesting to watch and hear.

Some friends shared the smoked free-range pork spare ribs. They arrived covered in a glass dome, which was swirling with smoke, and was dramatically lifted to reveal a glistening pile of dark, short. I tried the suckling pig fritter with percorino, apple and cabbage slaw.
4 friends shared 2 lots of the ‘Studies of beef’ and couldn’t get through it much like my friend that arrived on a bare chopping block rewarded me in every way a good steak should - tasty, tender, succulent and oozing meat juices.

The slow roasted Lamb shoulder with raspberry vinegar and star anise gravy is absolutely delectable. With sides of asparagus and potato gratin I was in heaven.

None of us could manage dessert as we hadn’t even finished our mains so opted for dessert wine or coffees. It will probably be somewhere we go from time to time but they need to sort their waiting staff.
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Probably get this out of the way first, it's not 5 star but its better than 4 star. 4.5 would be accurate.We went on the Auckland restaurant month menu a couple of weeks ago, it was a chance to see a small part of The Grill before going back to sample the full menu. It was a great deal we got a ARmonth menu x 2, this included entree, main, dessert and a wine each and we ordered 3 sides and it was still far cheaper than we usually spend on a dinner out.To boost the service was EXCEPTIONAL all the way down to the fact they called me this week for feedback something I believe is a great system as customers are somethimes reluctent to be honest face to face.The server we had knew almost every question I asked except one about where the mustard was from as it was amazing but he quickly found out.So food, bread to begin, fennel bread was supreme lots of flavour and a nice taste at the beginning of a meal. I had salmon gravlax which was light, refreshing and they even managed to get me to enjoy my much hated avocado. The halloumi was a tad to sweet from the honey but again a great entree.On to the mains firstly all the good bits, sides are $10 but are massive. Mac and cheese could be an entree! The short rib was giant and perfectly cooked and matched with a great array of mustards the wholegrain being a stand out. The other main was a venison and chocolate version of chilli con carne. It was in the chilli and sides that The Grill lost their half star.The chilli was not richer and more flavourful than a normal chilli which was how it was described, and the sides although big and looking outstanding where a little bland. The nuts on the broccolini could of been toasted and in the wifes words our home verions of mac and cheese and potato gratin had more flavour.Anyway I dont want to end on that note generally the food was brilliant and this finished with the treacle tart which matched with the rest of the food so well and was a great end to
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Reviewer dreadsey
If you're a fan of steak (and let's face it, why would anyone choose to be a vego), then The Grill at Skycity is in my mind Auckland's best experience. It's worth saving up to splash out a bit - the service, atmosphere and flavour definately warrants the pricing.
On my most recent visit (have been about 5 times now (lucky buggar I know), I had the slow cooked lamb shank after seeing another customer get it - this dish is the bomb! Have never been able to not have the duck fat chips either - I reckon if there's one meal I could have every day for a year this would be it! Well done The Grill - you continue to set the benchmark that all restaurants should be looking to follow.
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Reviewer Martina
From the moment we entered we were treated to a wonderful experience by the warm and friendly staff who were were very knowledgeable about food and wine and gave excellent recommendations. Steaks were to die for and LOVE the duck fat chips. Sadly we didn't leave enough room for dessert but will definitely be back to sample those.
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Reviewer larabrown
Went to the Grill with work and was very impressed by the venue, the staff and (more importantly) the food!! Excellent service. Highly recommend
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Reviewer Map07
Went to the Grill for lunch last week, nice decor but had to ask to turn down music because I couldn't hear my friends talking who were sitting next to me. Over priced for what you get, $30-$40 for a steak, and I mean a piece of steak only, no vegs, no nothing. You have order if you want veg or anything else to eat. Definitely wouldn't recommend and I won't go again.
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StarStarStarStarNo Star
The Grill by Sean Connolly has been much talked about so it was time that I gave it a go. Made a last minute booking and was quite happy that they were able to fit us in.

We arrived at the Grill and the first impression which I got was that it had quite a relaxed environment despite it being a fine dining establishment. Seating-wise, it was comfortable but rather cosy. I could hear the conversation from my neighbours on either side. Either they were loud (cause of a noisy environment) or we were just rather close to one another.

While I did enjoy my meal overall. I thought that the highlight of the evening was probably the entree of duck liver parfait. The eye fillet was good, but didn't like the venison too much. For sides, we had the duck fat chips and the red cabbage and chilli slaw. My partner loved the duck fat chips while I couldn't really tell much of a difference although it was fried to a crisp -- which is good. The red cabbage slaw though, was not really to my liking as it was a bit too oily and wasn't quite sure where the chilli was in the dish.

Our desserts of a chocolate mousse and a souffle were alright. They definitely did well with the souffle but I preferred the chocolate mousse in flavour as the souffle was rather eggy flavoured.

Service was efficient and friendly. Although, not really as warm or engaging as some other places. Was recommended a really good Pinot Noir to go with our meal.

Overall, my experience was good. No doubt about the quality of the food here, but be prepared to pay for it.
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Reviewer georgejoyce
Sean Connolly is an absolute master and the grill is a real testament to the man. I've taken , and been with, clients to the Grill on numerous occasions over the last 6 months and I have never been disappointed.
The genuine, knowledgeable and forthcoming attitudes of the staff are also a key element as to why the Grill by Sean Connolly is well and truly up there with the best restaurants in Auckland no questions asked.
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Reviewer vmouse
We were staying at the Grand and dined at The Grill on a Saturday night. The restaurant was full but it didn't affect the service which was very professional and knowledgeable.

Our main criticism of The Grill would be that the pacing of the courses was slightly off. Our mains arrived literally the second my husband took the last bite of his entree. We would have appreciated not being so rushed through and having been given time to enjoy our night out a little more.

The food was great - with some interesting touches like the carrot puree accompanying the snapper. Although, the (huge) sirloin steak my husband had was slightly tasteless and he wished he'd gone for the rib eye which looked a lot more appealing on the neighbouring table. My snapper could have arrived hotter but was perfectly cooked.

The duck fat chips were great but were our 2nd choice - apparently they'd run out of the potato gratin - which seems like a kind of ludicrous thing to run out of in my opinion.

You will definitely pay through the nose to dine at Sean Connolly's restaurant but in the most part we felt it was quite good value (in terms of portion sizes etc).

Overall there were just a few downsides which stop me from giving 5 stars - and to be honest would stop us from returning given the other great restaurants on this level to choose from where we've had faultless experiences (Clooney, Euro and Jervois Steak House etc).
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Reviewer Louie
We had a fantastic dinner at The Grill the other night. Wow! The food is great......wagyu steak cooked to absolute perfection, delicious sauces and excellent sashimi. The wine list is very good and the waiting staff are friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful. I'd also recommend the fries which are done in duck fat and taste divine.
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Reviewer SuzieC
If there's one restaurant in Auckland that you should save up for it should be The Grill by Sean Connolly at SkyCity. My partner surprised me with a reservation there the other night - very flash surroundings (and more than a few c-listers in attendance), yet very relaxed and warm, genuinely helpful service.
You will need to take out a mortgage extension, however once you sink your teeth into the Wagyu beef or even the Duck Fat chips, you'll be thanking your broker for releasing the funds.
Absolute treat - the grill by Sean Connolly is an experience to be savoured!
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Reviewer kiwibaz2
Well what can i say about my experience at The Grill by Sean Connolly last night.I am a proud kiwi over for the world cup from England,been to lots of restaurants in my time living there but i was blown away with this place.The starter was divine,had the duck and my mum had the pate.My main course of lamb cutlets were the moist i have ever tasted and for the duck fat chips,the best ever.Service was great,our waitress was typical kiwi with a great smile & personality.The only complaint of the night about The Grill by Sean Connolly was my mums steak was a bit cold but she didn't want to complain as she was enjoying the experience of being in one of Auckland best restaurants
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Reviewer fmichael
Took my Wife to the Grill on Saturday night. Food was absolutely amazing. The staff were extremely well presented and definitely knew their stuff. Amazing wine ..I had black Estate by the glass recommended by the staff (semillon?). It was fab!

Excellent customer service from everyone one I encountered at the restaurant and nothing was a problem.

My Wife was pregnant but we were advised everything was fresh and we were given a few list of things that she should probably avoid (due to her being pregnant).

She had the Crayfish and I had a rib eye steak, we had garlic bread (Divine) Duck fat chips (really yummy). Everything was cooked to perfection.

Only issue was I was slightly cramped up in regards to space ( I was at the top by the glass veranda) and did not have much room to move back, was quickly forgotten with exceptional food and service.
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Reviewer Markp
WOW! What a fantastic first impression. The food at the Grill 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. The Grill by Sean Connolly is an exciting addition to the Auckland restaurant scene. We will be back.
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Reviewer sallyr
My friend and I dined at the Grill last week. We were really impressed, they had only opened a few days prior, however it felt like a well oiled and well loved machine.The food was excellent. I usually shy away from steak houses as they are not really my thing. However, the menu was well rounded with a good deal of fresh seafood. We had intended on stepping in for a quick bite, however ended up having a three course meal! Everything was perfect or close to it.The staff were attentive and helpful, there were a few things on the menu that I hadn't heard of (sometimes Auckland waiters can be quite snobbish, however everyone here made you feel at ease). Sean even came out to talk with the customers, which was fantastic.Thank you so much, 'The Grill' it has been the highlight of my restaurant year thus far!!!!
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Reviewer henrim
We had not been following the TV series that has been running along side the opening of The Grill 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! I would 100% recommend The Grill Restaurant at Skycity! We have in fact already rebooked.
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Reviewer Orientalkiwi
Average and overpriced.

Steak was asked for medium rare, arrived rare.

Suckling pig had was served with skin which tasted like burnt prosciutto.

Wait staff at the Grill by Sean Connolly were inexperienced. Wine list was overly long and pretentious.

Expect entrees at $30 with mains starting from an average of $45.

Definitely tries to be a 5 star dining experience - pity about the food.

We were an Asian table and for some reason the restaurant manager thought we all lived together and packed our leftovers into the one package - definitely disappointing.
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Reviewer bbbbbbbb
Went with my wife to the Grill by Sean Connolly for our wedding anniversary last night. Can't fault a single thing.
Food was absolutely superb, great wine, very friendly and accommodating staff and the man himself was extremely down-to-earth and very pleasant.
Will definitely be going back to the Grill by Sean Connolly again soon!
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Reviewer kimwsm
We went to the grill last night and it was their 2nd night open to the public.
Entrees on average were about $27 and the seafood platter to share as an entree started at $135 and went up from there. Mains started at about $46 and went all the way up to over $100 per person. Mains did not include any sides so we had to order those on top of our mains.
Entrees were great but definitely over-priced. For our mains we ordered steaks which was the highlight of their menu. I ordered my steak medium-well and it was perfectly cooked! However, it was definitely over seasoned with salt and by the end of it, I had a dry mouth and throat. My partner had ordered his steak medium-rare and when his steak came out it was fine on the edges but when you cut right into the middle it was rare. For the prices we paid for our mains, I would have expected perfectly cooked and seasoned steaks even on the 2nd night of opening.
We were offered free dessert I suspect because of this.
We spent about $300 for 3 people excluding dessert.
Our main waiter was amazing but I couldn't say much about their Maitre'D and the other waiters - they were expressionless when spoken too and often I wasn't sure whether they understood what I wanted or was saying. Service was in general was just okay and not what I would have expected from a 5 star restaurant.
I enjoyed the experience I had at The Grill by Sean Connelly but I don't know if I would go back there again. I reckon Euro and Jervois Steak House are much better in terms of food, service and price.
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Reviewer Anonymous
The Grill by Sean Connolly is opening in Auckland SkyCity on September the 5th.
Looking forward to checking it out after watching the TV show too!
The views contained in these user reviews are not endorsed by ViewAuckland in any way and are provided by users who wish to publish their independent views of the respective establishment.

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