Sunday, July 22, 2012


I'm not a great fan of casinos and certainly not Sky City.
Apart from the odious base of its business and business practices it is, architecturally speaking, extremely ugly. Right from he start I saw it as a hypodermic syringe poking up into the sky. There is hardly anywhere you can go in the central city and inner suburbs (even some outer suburbs) without seeing the horrible thing.

One of the charming things I remember reading about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was that he hated the Eiffel Tower seeing it as an ugly intrusion on the Parisian skyline.

When challenged as to why he lunched in the tower each day he replied something like " its the only part of Paris I can dine without having to look at the fucking thing!"

Eiffel Tower

Sky Tower
Mind you, old Henri was a short little geezer so might have had something against tall structures.

That said and off my chest I experienced one of the good offerings from Sky City the other night.

So as not to appear as a complete bastard let me say that: I have been to great performances at the theatre in Sky City; have listened to some wonderful music in the casino; enjoy tapas and a glass of good Spanish wine at Bellota; and Al Brown's Depot is well worth a visit or two.

The other night The Old Girl and I met up with old friend Geoff and we went to The Grill which is in the Sky City complex

Let me start by saying I don't know much about Sean Connelly but he is definitely doing something right.

There are not too many places where you go out to dine and can tick virtually all the boxes.
Usually there are things that let you down but you kind of  let it go because you liked some other things.

This place from start to finish is the go.

When we arrived, not knowing what the offerings were or what to expect, we were impressed.
We were welcomed  straight away ( 3 of us).

It was explained that there would be a short wait (I'm always suspicious of this) and directed to the bar. Normally I would just flag it but the bar set up was interesting so we waited.

The bar is on the left of the entrance and you can sit at it. Behind the bar is a very high shelf of wines where the bar manager (a young woman) has to climb a ladder to access the top-most wines. (sorry Richard (of RBB) and TSB, she wears trousers).

The wine list is comprehensive and interesting. Well worth a wait of 20 minutes for a table.

The woman at the bar was French, entertaining and knowledgeable about the wines.

When conducted to our table the waitress was friendly, attentive and knew her stuff.

The food offerings were superb.

Presentation was great, particularly if someone orders steak tartare which is elaborately prepared at the table (personally I'd rather gnaw my own arm off than order this dish).

Overall what I really liked was the knowledgeable, helpful and not fawning staff. I felt that this is where the best of NZ comes to the fore. Staff that: know their stuff; enjoy what they are doing; do it with humour and panache; don't do it just to get a tip.

And, when we paid the bill we didn't have to suffer that embarrassing procedure when paying by eftpos of having to answer NO when the machine holds up the transaction by asking if we want to add a tip.

Well done Sean Connelly and the Grill. You have got it sorted.


Angry Jesus said...

It's a change to see a positive post here. I wonder if anyone else will read it?

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

It sounds like a great place to go. I'll put it on my list for next time in Auckland.

Thanks for the info.

BTW, How much would I expect to pay?

Richard (of RBB) said...

3 comments! This is a new record.

Alison Cross said...

Four comments - a new new record :-D

Ali x