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. 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.Tuna crudo, green apple, radish ($22) – bland and lacked excitement.
Split king prawns ($38) – this was delicious. The prawns were fresh and the seasoning was rich and paired well.
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. Grilled octopus ($18) – surprisingly the seasoning was exactly the same as the prawns. We felt it matched the former more.All 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. 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. Linguini with fruits of the sea ($28) – we enjoyed this dish. The pasta sauce wasn’t overpowering, keeping it light and fresh.Strawberry, marsala, semifreddo ($14) – this was super creamy though nothing astounding. I wasn’t a fan of the strawberry sauce that accompanied it.
Warm chocolate pudding ($14) – the pudding had a crispy outer edge and a soft interior. The molten chocolate inside was incredibly rich and delicious. 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.