The Grill The Grill CREDIT: Pead PR
The Grill The Grill CREDIT: Pead PR

Kiwi designer in Australasian wins

Tuesday 30 October 2012, 1:22PM
By Pead PR

It won Cuisine Magazine’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and now The Grill by Sean Connolly continues its winning streak with two leading architecture and design awards.

The Auckland restaurant’s architect has received a high commendation award at the Australasian Eat-Drink-Design Awards in Melbourne and the award for Interior Architecture at the 2012 Auckland Architecture Awards, both this month (October).

The Eat-Drink-Design Awards celebrate the best in hospitality and food-related retail design in Australia and New Zealand. The Grill is the only New Zealand restaurant recognised in the inaugural awards, receiving the high commendation award for Best Restaurant Design.

The Auckland Architecture Award is the New Zealand Institute of Architecture’s annual award and the win provides automatic entry into the national awards next year.

The Grill by Sean Connolly was designed by renowned New Zealand architect Andrew Lister who is based in Auckland.

The Grill’s design identity is described by Lister as “of the highest international standard” and “unlike any other restaurant in Auckland”.

“The Grill’s design and food both have a modern twist on traditional materials with an emphasis on texture, craft and quality.

“We used timber, leather, stone and steel throughout – the combination of these natural materials contributes warmth and comfort to a stylish yet unpretentious atmosphere,” Lister says.

The creative inspiration for The Grill and construction challenges faced by Lister were highlighted during the 2011 TV3 series ‘Under The Grill’. The series documented Chef Sean Connolly’s work with the architect and SKYCITY Auckland to fit out the restaurant.

Challenges included the compressed three month timeframe to build the restaurant and kitchen from scratch to ensure it would be fully functional before the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Critical to the process was on-site innovation and creativity.

Chef Sean Connolly is thrilled with the award and says it tops off an already successful year for The Grill.

“A lot of hard work went into the design and fit out of The Grill. For a restaurant to work, everything has to be in alignment – fantastic food, service and atmosphere. Andrew is so talented and he did an incredible job making The Grill fit out glamorous yet relaxed – while offering something different to the Auckland dining scene,” says Connolly.

The Eat-Drink-Design Awards is the only awards programme in Australasia dedicated to the specialist area of food and drink.

The awards were announced at an event on 23 October, 2012, in Melbourne.

About The Grill
Indulge in some of the best produce New Zealand has to offer at The Grill by Sean Connolly. This exciting addition to the Auckland dining scene offers innovative dishes using the very best in succulent meats, wild venison and sustainable seafood with a spectacular wine list to match.

Award-winning chef Sean Connolly is one of Australasia’s most loved chefs. At The Grill he and his team take pride in offering a relaxed, easy atmosphere that complements delicious fresh fare. Dishes are beautifully balanced, technically brilliant and the emphasis is on letting the produce shine. Sean’s signature style of traditional dishes with a modern twist means you can expect to be led astray.

The Grill by Sean Connolly is located on Federal Street with complimentary valet parking available at SKYCITY Grand Hotel on the day of dining. For reservations call +64 9 363 7067 or email 

About Andrew Lister Architect
Andrew Lister Architect is a practise renowned for highly original architecture and an innovative design vision. The practise enjoys engaging with clients that are interested in pushing the boundaries and prides itself on providing clients with unique and creative architecture that integrates effortlessly into the environment.

About the Eat-Drink-Design Awards
The awards recognise excellence in a range of establishments - from high-end restaurants and bars to offbeat hole-in-the-wall cafés and pop-ups. The awards are designed as a unique forum for architects, designers and their clients to present their best new projects.

Judges included:
Jill Dupleix, food writer
Ronnie Di Stasio, restaurateur
Roger Wood, architect
Rachel Hurst, design writer
Cameron Bruhn, design publishing