Gusto is the new kid on the block replacing Dine at The Grand Hotel. The cuisine is Italian and encourages the sharing of food round the table. _MG_2714 copy _MG_2715 copy We went for dinner on their second day of opening, the staff were friendly and we left feeling satisfied.

Each table was adorned with a bottle of Sean Connolly’s olive oil. It was super tasty and had a definite fruity flavour to it. I was convinced that I needed a bottle of this for home but soon found that nearly every dish was lathered in the oil and was a little overwhelmed._MG_2729 copyTuna crudo, green apple, radish ($22) – bland and lacked excitement._MG_2730 copy
Split king prawns ($38) – this was delicious. The prawns were fresh and the seasoning was rich and paired well._MG_2742 copy

Pork, veal meatballs ($12) – it seems meatballs are the craze in town right now, so maybe we’ve had enough already. These were on the saltier side._MG_2735 copy_MG_2798 copy Grilled octopus ($18) – surprisingly the seasoning was exactly the same as the prawns. We felt it matched the former more._MG_2743 copyAll the pastas are made in-house. They certainly were the stars of the meal.

Pappardelle, wild boar ragu ($28) – the pappardelle is a wider and flat type of pasta. It was cooked just right._MG_2758 copy_MG_2787 copy Gusto’s mushroom risotto ($28) – the risotto is made from scratch the minute you order. The texture was great but the dish was far too salty and we had to return it._MG_2761 copy Linguini with fruits of the sea ($28) – we enjoyed this dish. The pasta sauce wasn’t overpowering, keeping it light and fresh._MG_2774 copyStrawberry, marsala, semifreddo ($14) – this was super creamy though nothing astounding. I wasn’t a fan of the strawberry sauce that accompanied it. _MG_2776 copy
Warm chocolate pudding ($14) – the pudding had a crispy outer edge and a soft interior. The molten chocolate inside was incredibly rich and delicious._MG_2778 copy_MG_2780 copy_MG_2792 copy _MG_2793 copy Gusto offers fresh detox and energy organic smoothies at $10 each. Their lunch and dinner menus are the same. There’s both buffet and a la carte breakfast. Although the pasta was impressive, the dishes weren’t at the point of convincing us to be back again quickly.

Gusto at The Grand.
90 Federal Street, Auckland Central.

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