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QT Auckland Reveals Signature Restaurant in Collaboration With Chef Sean Connolly and Auckland’s Newest Rooftop Bar

October 20, 2020 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

QT Hotels & Resorts has announced the signature restaurant and rooftop bar concepts set to open at the highly-anticipated QT Auckland this November. Under the direction of internationally renowned Chef Sean Connolly, QT Auckland will introduce Esther to Viaduct Harbour’s vibrant dining scene.

QT has put its stamp on delivering the best in rooftop bar experiences and the Rooftop at QT in Auckland is the latest addition to join QT’s stable of rooftop bar destinations. Perched high in the sky and loved for their curiously quirky drink lists and chef-curated menus, the Rooftop at QT has become synonymous with the QT experience.

QT Auckland promises a luxuriously quirky escape that reflects its home city and harbourside locale. True to the QT Hotels philosophy, QT Auckland features a highly creative food and beverage experience, combining locally-sourced ingredients with design-led interiors and signature service across all outlets.

As QT Auckland’s Creative Director of Food and Beverage, Sean joins the QT Hotels family of well-established and highly successful signature restaurants. Most recently, QT Wellington’s Hippopotamus by Chef Jiwon Do earned two hats from Cuisine Magazine and a Wine Spectator restaurant award, while QT Perth’s Santini Bar & Grill by Chef Nic Wood took home the Restaurant of the Year title in the West Australian Good Food Guide Awards.

Sean says the QT brand resonates with his personal journey as a chef. “I’ve long had my eye on QT. Pioneers in breaking down the stigma of ‘hotel restaurants’, QT is a champion for amazing quality and luxury while celebrating individuality. Seeking creative freedom, there was no better fit for me to take my career to the next level while expressing my own personal style and joining a renowned stable of culinary talent.”

QT Auckland General Manager Doron Whaite echoes Sean’s enthusiasm, saying, “We’re honoured to bring Sean’s culinary talents and down-to-earth philosophy into the QT fold. His international experience coupled with his knowledge and passion for Auckland’s local market will set Esther apart from anything else in the city. We’re also thrilled to pair our strong culinary offering with the talented Roberto Giampaolo as Bar Manager at Rooftop at QT.

Welcome home, Esther

With the warm embrace of humble tradition, QT Auckland’s signature restaurant Esther, brings the authentic tastes of the Mediterranean’s sun-soaked shores to the Viaduct. The sophisticated European-style bistro will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With 98 indoor seats, the light and airy space will include a 21-seat indoor bar and an al fresco dining option, with 16 outdoor seats catching the fresh salty air of the marina.

Esther‘s menu is inspired by Sean’s travels chasing food of the sun, using flavours and spices from Sicily to Southern France to Morocco. The approachable and sustainable menu features local produce and daily-caught seafood, with many items served by trolley service – think tableside salt-crusted fish, salads and desserts – for a touch of theatrics.

On the inspiration for Esther, Sean says, “When designing Esther, we envisioned a feminine design and wanted to personify it. Esther embodies a lively spirit, a feminine presence and modern traveller skipping around the Mediterranean gathering flavours as she goes.”

Sean has been working closely with QT Auckland’s appointed Executive Chef James Laird to bring Esther‘s menu to life. Joining forces with the QT team and QT collaborator and designer Nic Graham, the team has worked together on everything from a hero art installation, to crockery, and the exact colour of a custom French oven.

Sweeping views from Rooftop at QT

Perched on the sixth floor of QT Auckland’s new Viaduct playground is the Rooftop at QT, boasting panoramic views across the harbour and superyachts that call the marina home.

Led by Bar Manager Roberto Giampaolo, Rooftop at QT will feature an extensive cocktail menu which will complement a sophisticated local wine list. Taking cues from Esther‘s wanderlust-inspired cuisine, Sean’s Mediterranean tapas menu will seamlessly transition from evening to late night fare.

The elevated setting is primed to perfection by the background beats of QT sound specialists and well-known guest DJs. With a capacity of 200, the design-driven space will feature indoor-outdoor flow and lounge-style seating, with intimate tables for two and open areas to unwind with friends.

Esther and Rooftop at QT are set to open their doors in November, in line with the hotel launch. With stays bookable from early November, guests can expect public spaces bursting with local artwork and private function spaces steps from the water.

QT Auckland is being developed in partnership with Russell Property Group and Lockwood Property Group. Located at 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, QT Auckland will be the tenth QT Hotel and the third in New Zealand, joining QT Wellington and QT Queenstown.

QT Auckland is now accepting bookings from November. For more information and to make a booking, visit qthotels.com/auckland.

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