Now Open: A New Cocktail Bar and Restaurant Duo Has Landed at the Grand Millennium Hotel

The dining duo are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Auckland's best theatres.
Emma Clark-Dow
March 18, 2024

Auckland's Grand Millennium Hotel has welcomed a brand new restaurant and bar, adding another two dining spots to their offering, which includes the sensory experience of Dans Le Noir, Dining in the Dark.

The restaurant, Ember, is a bistro that encompasses the international palates of the hotel's many global visitors, while the Aviary Cocktail Bar is a slice of luxury for those wanting everything from a negroni in the evening to a cappuccino in the morning — or the other way around. The new venues are only a short walk away from Aotea Centre, Basement Theatre, Q Theatre and the Auckland Town Hall, making it the perfect spot for a bite before a show, or a post-production dessert.

Chef James Kenny is heading up Ember's kitchen, alongside chef Aaron Hyett. Kennedy's experience in kitchens across the world — including Paris, Denmark and Greece — makes him the perfect candidate for the job, following positions at the leafy Cornwall Park Bistro and Greek restaurant Gerome.

The two chefs created a menu catering to a wide variety of tastes, from their entrees of crispy salt and vinegar hash browns and scampi toast doused in pineapple hot sauce, to their mains of lamb with a burnt honey glaze and fish served with a vindaloo sauce rolled in curry leaves.

The restaurant seats 144 diners but guests of the hotel can also enjoy the meals as an in-room dining experience if you simply want to enjoy a little dinner in bed.

The Aviary Cocktail Bar can be found right in the middle of the Grand Millennium's atrium lobby, a sun trap that invites thirsty revellers to grab a quick drink before heading out for the night, or settle in for the evening.

Creative cocktails is Aviary's bread and butter, with bartender Thomas Shortt shaking up drinks that change colour, employing rich elements like chocolate and coffee to create dessert cocktails to enjoy after dinner and a show. A wide range of local and international wine and beer makes up the rest of the lengthy menu.

You can find Ember and The Aviary inside the Grand Millennium Hotel at 71 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD. To find out more, head to the hotel's website.

Published on March 18, 2024 by Emma Clark-Dow
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