Category Archives: New Zealand

Grazing New Zealand at SKYCITY Auckland – Restaurants & Menus


SKYCITY Restaurants dine by Peter Gordon and The Grill by Sean Connolly both are world-class dining experiences.  See their menus in photos.

NZ Auckland Sky Tower-1   glass of wine-1

At precisely 1076 feet and 1.38 inches (328 m), the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and serves as one of Auckland’s signature attractions. The Sky Tower also marked the location of SKYCITY Auckland, a casino-hotel complex with 25 cafes, restaurants and bars.

This visual menu is from the SKYCITY Grand Hotel’s restaurant called “dine by Peter Gordon.” The word dine certainly deserves to be in all caps at this award-winning restaurant featuring a mix of Asian, Pacific and traditional European cuisine.  This is a true fine dining experience and one not to be rushed.

dine by Peter Gordon Visual Menu

Appetizers (or “entrees” as they’re called in NZ)

tuna-1Seared yellowfin tuna with nori sauce, crispy squid, wakame salad and wasabi jelly

pork belly-1Crispy free-farmed pork belly and smoked mackerel fritter accompanied by lemon,
coriander, bean sprout, cherry tomato, macadamia salad and lime dressing

salad-1Roast Cambridge duck breast accompanied by green beans, caramelized
shallots, smoked eggplant, beetroot relish, pastille of five-spiced confit
duck leg and chestnuts

Main Course

beef-1
7-hour braised Firstlight grass-fed wagyu short rib accompanied by
eggplant, shitake mushroom, salad and toasted almonds

Dessert

dessert-1Valrhona Guanaja 70% chocolate terrine topped by lemongrass ice cream
with pistachio white chocolate mousse, popping candy, manuka honey crisp

The Grill by Sean Connolly Visual Photo Menu

Another excellent restaurant at the SKYCITY Grand Hotel, The Grill by Sean Connolly is more casual than dine but the menu is just as delicious and memorable. The emphasis here is on fresh local foods with the natural flavors allowed to shine through.

Seafood Entrees

seafood platter-1This seafood appetizer for 4 is a meal in itself: Queensland prawns,
Cloudy Bay clams, king crab claws, scampi and oysters. Single servings
also available.

prawns with garlic and pesto-1Queensland prawns with garlic butter and pesto.  We should have stopped
right here.

Main Course

XXX

          There should be a picture above of a 1-1/2 inch dry aged savannah Angus rib        eye on the bone.  I was trying to arrange this great piece of cow into a more
photogenic position but made the mistake of cutting into and tasting the rib eye
while doing this. The results were not pretty or suitable for public viewing.  The rib eye,
however, was magnificent and you have my word –if not my photo—attesting to that.

Grazing New Zealand at SKYCITY Auckland – Restaurants & Menus


SKYCITY Restaurants dine by Peter Gordon and The Grill by Sean Connolly both are world-class dining experiences.  See their menus in photos.

NZ Auckland Sky Tower-1   glass of wine-1

At precisely 1076 feet and 1.38 inches (328 m), the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and serves as one of Auckland’s signature attractions. The Sky Tower also marked the location of SKYCITY Auckland, a casino-hotel complex with 25 cafes, restaurants and bars.

This visual menu is from the SKYCITY Grand Hotel’s restaurant called “dine by Peter Gordon.” The word dine certainly deserves to be in all caps at this award-winning restaurant featuring a mix of Asian, Pacific and traditional European cuisine.  This is a true fine dining experience and one not to be rushed.

dine by Peter Gordon Visual Menu

Appetizers (or “entrees” as they’re called in NZ)

tuna-1Seared yellowfin tuna with nori sauce, crispy squid, wakame salad and wasabi jelly

pork belly-1Crispy free-farmed pork belly and smoked mackerel fritter accompanied by lemon,
coriander, bean sprout, cherry tomato, macadamia salad and lime dressing

salad-1Roast Cambridge duck breast accompanied by green beans, caramelized
shallots, smoked eggplant, beetroot relish, pastille of five-spiced confit
duck leg and chestnuts

Main Course

beef-1
7-hour braised Firstlight grass-fed wagyu short rib accompanied by
eggplant, shitake mushroom, salad and toasted almonds

Dessert

dessert-1Valrhona Guanaja 70% chocolate terrine topped by lemongrass ice cream
with pistachio white chocolate mousse, popping candy, manuka honey crisp

The Grill by Sean Connolly Visual Photo Menu

Another excellent restaurant at the SKYCITY Grand Hotel, The Grill by Sean Connolly is more casual than dine but the menu is just as delicious and memorable. The emphasis here is on fresh local foods with the natural flavors allowed to shine through.

Seafood Entrees

seafood platter-1This seafood appetizer for 4 is a meal in itself: Queensland prawns,
Cloudy Bay clams, king crab claws, scampi and oysters. Single servings
also available.

prawns with garlic and pesto-1Queensland prawns with garlic butter and pesto.  We should have stopped
right here.

Main Course

XXX

          There should be a picture above of a 1-1/2 inch dry aged savannah Angus rib        eye on the bone.  I was trying to arrange this great piece of cow into a more
photogenic position but made the mistake of cutting into and tasting the rib eye
while doing this. The results were not pretty or suitable for public viewing.  The rib eye,
however, was magnificent and you have my word –if not my photo—attesting to that.

Grazing in New Zealand – Kiwi Food Terms

Museum Hotel Gourmet Hamburger-1
This is a hamburger, partially eaten, to show its unusual ingredients 

New Zealand (NZ) has some wonderful cuisine, but don’t feel embarrassed to ask for clarification about what you’re ordering.  Kiwi food terms may refer to very different items than someone from North American would expect. For instance, what American ordering in a 4 + star hotel would expect their hamburger to be made up of small chunks of tender steak, ham slices, beets, lettuce and tomato slices and a fried egg?  Yet still lacking the essential and  customary mustard, onion, ketchup or a pickle?

Museum Hotel Gourmet Hamburger-2This is the same burger, fully revealed, showing its distinctive and surprising contents

I admit making this mistake, not verifying  that something as simple as a hamburger could be so different, so unexpected –especially when there is a 24-hour McDonald’s (yes, the one with the famed golden arches) just a few blocks away from the hotel. Although this NZ burger is quite good, it is not what I anticipate, or the taste I really want.

To  help other visitors from making the same type of mistake, I’m starting with Kiwi food terms every visitor should know as the first topic in my series of NZ food blogs.

Kiwi Food Terms You Need to Know

Surprise! Cheerios are not just a breakfast cereal.

Afghan – chocolate flavored biscuit, typically made from cornflakes and covered in chocolate icing

Banger – sausage, as in bangers and mash

Bickies – biscuits

Biscuits – cookies

Brekkie – breakfast

Bring a plate – bring a dish of food to be shared

Buttie – Sandwich made from buttered bread

BYO (Bring Your Own) – A BYO restaurant is a one that allows you to bring your own wine to drink with your meal.

Candy floss – cotton candy

Cervena – farmed deer meat; venison is from a hunted deer

Cheerios – cocktail sausages

Chip – small box of berries

Chips – crisps

Chips – deep fried slices of potato but much thicker than a french fry

Chippie – potatoes chip

Chocolate fish
– chocolate coated marshmallow candy fish

Chook – chicken

Cordial – syrup that is diluted to make a fruit flavored drink

Courgette – zucchini

Eye filletbeef tenderloin

Fat Chips – fried in fat, such as duck fat

Cuppa – cup of tea, as in cuppa tea. Not coffee.

Dunny – toilet

Entree – appetizer, hors d’oeurve

Feed – A meal

Fizzy drink – soda pop

Greasies – fish and chips, popular takeaway meal

Handle – pint of beer

Hen fruit – eggs

Hotdog – corndog in local fast food shops

Iceblock – popsicle, Ice Stick

Jafa – popular sort of small orange flavored candy with a chocolate center

Jar – glass of beer

Kai – food (Maori origin)

Kai moana – sea food (Maori origin)

Knuckle sandwhich – a fist in the teeth, punch in the mouth

Lamington – sponge cake cube, coated in icing, covered in dried coconut

Lolly – candy

Main – primary dish of a meal

Mince – Ground meat

Maori roast – fish and chips

Narna – banana

Paua – abalone

Pav or pavola – dessert usually topped with kiwifruit and cream

Pikelet – small pancake usually had with jam and whipped cream

Pinky bar – popular chocolate covered pink marshmallow candy bar

Pipi edible shell

Plonk – cheap liquor, cheap wine

Pudding – dessert

Rock melon – cantaloupe

Sammie – sandwich

Scrogin – trail mix of nuts and raisins

Scull – consume, drink quickly

Serviette – paper napkin

Shandy – drink made with lemonade and beer

Shark and taties – fish and chips

Shout To – treat your friends to something such as a drink or a meal

Shout – to treat, to buy something for someone, as in “lunch is my shout”

Smoko – Coffee or tea break

Snarler – sausage

Steinie – bottle of Steinlager, brand lager

Stubby – small glass bottle of beer

Tea – evening meal, dinner

Tomato sauce – Ketchup

Tucker – Food

Vegemite – popular spread, made from yeast extract, imported from Australia

Veges – vegetables

Zed – How Kiwis pronounce the letter “Z”

Next time: witness how many of these terms can wonderfully combine

Dining at SKYCITY, Auckland, New Zealand