At Hippopotamus Hotel you will experience exquisite French influenced cuisine in a glamorous environment that boasts breathtaking views. You will be left with the overwhelming desire to return for a repeat of this magnificent dining experience.
For current menus, please explore the full details on the link to our website: See for yourself some of the delights that await you by browsing the sumptuous menus. High Tea, dinner, lunch, dessert and of course, the perfect selection of wine.
Hippopotamus Restaurant is located on level three of the Harbour Wing of Museum Hotel and enjoys stunning views of the beautiful Wellington harbour.
Went on the weekend with high expectations and wasn’t disappointed! Fantastic service, incredible food and beautiful wine. A stunning setting, we had a wonderful evening. Had the Tortellini de Kikorangi sur poireaux à la crème for an entree which was so delicious, and Chateaubriand, cooked to perfection, ruined me for other food now! Definitely recommend, and we will return!
Stayed here for a weekend while in Welly on work. Ate breakfast twice. Superb. Attentive and well-presented French staff. A huge array of food. Even real prosciutto ham. Was reasonably priced. Great views of the harbour too. Evening menu looked a tad pricey, but ever so inviting.
The waiter at Hippopotamus was charming and delightful to talk to, so in the customer service score they get 5 stars. From such a high class restaurant this was to be expected. However as it was a busy night our meals took a while to arrive (close to an hour). Having said that we needed to buy a few more drinks before the food arrived so there may have been some strategy there. The braised beef was very good, and also very expensive. I can’t justify spending that much on a meal, but for those who want to I would suggest to try this restaurant. All in all I was glad to have come.
This the best restaurant in Wellington by far. As usual we were spoilt by Timothy & Stefan. I tried Laurent’s signature ‘salmon sashimi’ and it was sublime. The duck perfectly cooked. However, I had dessert envy as my partner chose the Cinq textures de chocolat – I’m having that one next time. We will be coming back again but not soon enough.
With high expectations since the many reviews we heard about this restaurant, I was looking forward to a great dining experience with my family. However, my experience was on a downhill decline as we were greeted by a rude host or manager that informed us that our table has been given away as we were late. We had decent reasons for being late but were too stunned to explain our predicament amidst the loud accusations and rude remarks.
We were given a table after a slight wait and wasn’t spoken to by the manager after that, unlike his manner and attitude towards other tables that night.
I would not write off the restaurant altogether as the food was decent and flavoursome, kudos to the chef. The waiters and waitresses were very polite and attentive to our needs.
Overall, the food was good and ambience was good but my first encounter with the manager was enough to deter me from returning to this restaurant. I was only wanting to have a good experience at a fine dining restaurant, irrelevant of my status (we made sure to dress up as well) and the colour of my skin.
One of Wellington’s best!
I’ve dined here for lunch, dinner and high tea and it is definitely one of the city’s best restaurants. The staff are warm and attentive. I’ve celebrated my mother’s 60th here as well as my 40th and both times we had a wonderful time. I am allergic to dairy products and am gluten intolerant and nothing is ever a problem for the staff. A really terrific restaurant. If you get the chance to go make sure you do.
I went to this restaurant with my elderly father and his wife to celebrate his 89th birthday . I was a visitor as was my sister to Wellington. All of us had previously dinned in many top class restaurants in the world and felt a bit ripped off to be honest.The service was very attentive and good, we all enjoyed the entrees but when it came to the mains my father and i made a bad choice choosing the fillets of beef. Two very small pieces of steak came out albeit very tender but so small (milk bottle cap size) it was lost on the huge plate, also a tiny serve of ox cheek very dry and a tiny horseradish souffle that’s it, hardly worth over $40. I left the place hungry even a side of salad or green vegetable would have been something! The wine was very uninspiring at $80 and when my dad mentioned it when paying the bill the waiter just shrugged his shoulders. Such a pity I have had better dining experiences in Nelson!
We enjoyed every aspect of our meal one although all courses tasted beautiful one of the highlights was the walnut rolls, my husband who only would normally eat white bread had 3 so that was a huge hit and if there was any chance I could get the recipe for that i would be delighted. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone and the service was outstanding, the only reason I took of a star is although I love the French accents I struggled understanding the specials and what was on the drinks trolley so had to ask a few times for them to repeat themselves.
I went to Hippopotamus just last Friday night. I had heard a lot about it and my expectations were huge and I worried that the restaurant couldn’t live up to them. I have to say that nothing about my evening disappointed. I was thrilled to be there and spent the first few minutes drinking in the ambience. Lovely, understated, classy and chic decor; fabulous art all over the building; and the view across the harbour to the lights of the Hutt!; sweet, knowledgeable, unobtrusive and friendly staff; the food was tres magnifique! just awesome, beautifully presented, exquisite tastes and I felt like I had a bloody good feed. (I hate going to those classy places and coming out feeling cheated) We were there for about 4 hours and nothing about the evening disappointed so I really, really, really recommend Hippopotamus to you, especially for a very special occasion. Go for it!!
We had high tea here and the food was fantastic. The waitstaff were extremely attentive and the dining room was beautiful. There was a miscommunication with the waitstaff, as we had ordered the champagne high tea but they forgot to bring out our champagne. That was the only downside to a lovely experience.
I’d have to agree with the review that the food is warm. Not sure if it’s supposed to be like that. I have a preference for piping hot. Nevertheless, good service, food was good. Just gutted I didn’t choose the baked alaska, had a bad case of food envy at desert time!
My partner took me here for the Wellington on a Plate deal on a Thursday evening. Short version excellent all round experience, service food and wine.
I really liked the decor, a nice juxtaposition to the clean functionality of many restaurants, art on the walls and chandeliers and spacious. Felt very relaxed and comfortable. sat down and our waiter came along with a trolley atop of which was champagne and ingredients to make cocktails, which made for an enjoyable start to the evening. The meal consisted of 4 courses, first was beetroot cured salmon and cauliflower panna cotta. second Snapper with mushrooms and broad beans, third rack of lamb with lentils and pea puree. all served with matching wines, from Producers in the Wairarapa which I had not previously come across. I was impressed with the food, not super tricky dishes but very well done and delicious. and impressed also with the wines. interesting expressions of the varieties from smaller producers. Desert a chocolate cake /slice and caramel ice cream was a rich intense end to the meal and was served with an espresso. Service was great friendly and attentive.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the decor, and most of the waiting staff are very good, but we have been many times at this hotel, we stay here when we come to Wellington. But the barman so needs some extra training in the making of cocktails, [which he always drowns in ice, which waters down our poor drinks, and then if you complain he is a very very rude little man. We love the desserts and entrees, but give the mains a big miss, because there is always something wrong with them. For the over the top money you pay here, its not quite the whole experience one is looking for, and we eat out heaps !!!!!
Extremely pricey and somehow pretty common… Very posh. I was actually very disappointed as I had heard very good reviews. Maybe we were not lucky with our choices… Who knows? But I don’t think I will go back…
This place is exceptional! We went there for a family birthday and we were all so impressed. The waiter was at our table making sure everything was perfect as if her was an old friend. He new everything about everything and even told us how 3 different types of gins were made and how they tasted! The food was really nice, interesting and i tried thing i would never have expected to. Were got deserts which were delicious and they wrote a beautiful happy birthday on the plate made of chocolate. It is quite pricey but you pay for the quality and service so no reason to complain.
Our dinner was a luxury, Highly recommend. Thanks hippo for a great evening!
Had the pleasure of dining here Saturday evening. Dining room was busy due to WOW and several other Wellington activities. Plenty of knowledgeable staff in attendance. We dined early and were served our three courses with an hour and a quarter which was perfect for attending a show. We would have liked to have not been limited by time due to the show, longer to savour the amazing cuisine..flavours and combinations superb. Wine suggestion went well with our choices.Too often the wine waiter wants your wine order before you have chosen your menu… not here!! A beautiful dining experience. A little pricey but definitely fine dining at its best.
Went here for lunch as part of Wellington on a Plate and was not disappointed – excellent service & excellent food. Also managed to be in and out in under an hour without feeling at all rushed – awesome!
Rather disappointing. Food just seems colder than it should be. Soup was cold but it was forgivable since there was a novel pannacotta melting in it. But mains were served warm at best too. Maybe it’s because food was trying too hard on presentation and it took ages plating up but I would rather have good warm food with less fancy pretentious presentation.
We dined here on a Friday night and it wasn’t overly busy which was nice. We were served cocktails in the bar area which had the old decor and looked great. We were shown to our table; a nice place by the window. I could go on for quite a while about the experience. We ordered entree’s and mains and we were given complementary starters from the Chef which was brilliant. The food was perfect and flavours amazing. The waiter we had was his first night working there and he was superb. It was refreshing to have someone professional serving us. We were offered bread rolls several times. I would definitely dine here again for a special occasion and don’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is after a great dining experience, just don’t be ignorant to the fact the cuisine is very nouvelle and a big bloke may be left wanting, but tell him to shut up and pay the bill!
overpriced. Fairly ordinary food. Somewhat arrogant waiters who did not realise I actually knew a lot about wine but insisted they knew best which wine should be served with which dish. After all that fund myself with no wine to drink with the main course. Expensive for a fairly ordinary meal with a menu that did not inspire with original ideas. In retrospect fairly typical hotel fare
A friend and I were staying at the hotel and decided to pop in for a late dinner. This restaurant is not for “popping in” as it is very expensive. However, we were not disappointed with our meals, the service was attentive (if a little pretentious)and the wine suggested was spot on.
Superb French food, and fantastic service from the predominantly French staff who really understand their role – professional, helpful, and yet unobtrusive. I’ve eaten there about four times, and it’s been consistently excellent from the complex dishes (wonderful snapper with a lime beurre blanc sauce) to the comparatively simple (french fries). Pricey; but worth every cent. recommended, as it’s one of Wellington’s best.
Really enjoyed this restaurant – went with my family of 4 for my dad’s birthday. The food was excellent, and the service was impeccable (there weren’t many diners, so we practically had the waiter to ourselves – he was very attentive, professional and knowledgable about the menu and wine list), and the restaurant ambience was very nice. We passed over 4 hours here and didn’t even notice the time.
I really loved the way the desserts were served – each dessert came out in three servings, so we were able to taste each other’s desserts (and all were very very good).
Also is in the entertainment book so, all up, a very positive experience.