24 AUGUST, 2022, 6.30PM

Donne-moi un bisou hippopotame. (Give me a kiss hippopotamus!)

Esther restaurant is snuggling up with QT Wellington’s Hippopotamus, the French jewel in QT’s crown, this August. A fleeting flirtation to remember, Parisian chic meets underground Bohemian scene for this one-off event where daring dishes are served with a voluptuous chef’s kiss, on both cheeks.

Sean Connolly, Culinary Food & Beverage Director of Esther Restaurant, QT Auckland, and Jiwon Do, Executive Chef of Hippopotamus Restaurant, QT Wellington, are coming together for a spectacle of culinary curiosity, fine wine and ravishing entertainment. Stir in Florent Souche, Head Sommelier of Hippopotamus and this will be a ménage à trois to be remembered.

Starting the evening in Esther, you pirouette your way through four courses of decadent delights, tableside theatrics and three fine wines whilst enjoying a night of upbeat entertainment and opulence in this design-led setting. Guests will be treated to a view of the bustling action and commentary in Esther’s open kitchen as Korean-born chef Jiwon Do joins the affable and well-known Sean Connolly. This is a chance to watch these culinary maestros serve up luxurious and unexpected French fare right in front of you. As the evening progresses, award-winning Head Sommelier Florent Souche will take centre-stage as he guides you through the great New Zealand wines that have been expertly paired to the evening’s menu.

Attention! the extravagance of the evening does not end there. The finale awaits at the glitzy Rooftop Bar where you’ll enjoy dazzling views of the harbour and city skyline as well as cocktails with a side of sensuous entertainment, it’s a French fling after all.

About Hippopotamus

This August, QT Wellington’s signature restaurant, Hippopotamus visits Tamaki Makaurau for a flamboyant kitchen takeover at Esther Restaurant with Creative Director Sean Connolly. Hippopotamus is renowned for its extravagant Parisian chic décor and luxurious French fare; under the guidance of two of the country’s finest talent - Executive Chef Jiwon Do and Sommelier Florent Souche; this Two-hatted restaurant has propelled itself to an institution within the capital.

Sean Connolly

As host for the evening, Esther’s Culinary Food & Beverage Director Sean Connolly, needs no introduction. Sean has cooked in the kitchens of numerous high-profile restaurants across Australia, Dubai and here in Auckland as well as boasting an impressive collection of accolades and chefs’ Hats, along with his own documentary series.

Jiwon Do

Hailing from five generations of hospitality professionals; it is fair to say that cooking is in the genes of Executive Chef Jiwon Do. For Jiwon, it is important to him that when his guests are dining, it should always be about enjoyment, happiness and of course, great food. His passion for experimenting with seasonal flavours and trends, woven in with classical French techniques means that his repertoire of dishes boasts an extraordinary spectrum of flavour profiles designed to be très magnifique.

Florent Souche

Food and wine have been in Florent's blood since he was a child in Lyon in his native France. Since moving to New Zealand his knowledge and passion for old world wines has been supplemented with a new passion and understanding of wines from the sub-continent. As Head Sommelier of Hippopotamus, Florent has led the restaurant to winning a number of accolades for its wine collection. 

Turn your evening into a staycation 

If you want to make this night even better - stay overnight at the QT with a special offer for August. Book a night and save 10% and for each night you extend, the more you save. Enjoy 10% off for 1 or 2 nights, 15% off for 3 nights and 20% off for 5+ nights. A further 10% off is available for members. Click here to book. T's & C's - Booking period now until 30 August, for stays from now to 16 September 2022. Last check-in date is 15 September 2022. 

Part of Restaurant Month 2022. 

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Last updated: 17 June 2022