Hidden atop Auckland City’s Sudima hotel lies an inviting respite from the busy city streets below with a new rooftop bar called Sunset.

Crispy Poppadoms with whipped avocado, pomegranate and green chilli salsa (vegan).

Inspired by a cosmopolitan melting pot of culture-shaping bars from around the world, award-winning practice CTRL Space has designed the 132-seat Sunset’s fit-out, featuring its stunning views across Westhaven, the Waitematā Harbour, Waitākere Ranges, Freemans Bay, Ponsonby and beyond. 

Photo credit: Jennifer Dixon.

CTRL Space, the interior team behind popular spots like Lilian and Hotel Ponsonby, have used curved ceiling details and banquette seating as a subtle nod to the 1970s, then contrasted light pastel shades, textural tiles, stone and timber to render the space distinctly contemporary. Summer or winter, the bar is flooded with natural light and features unobstructed views to watch the setting sun. Sunset is divided into various seating zones, including the outdoor west-facing terrace; all zones take in the striking views. 

“To us, Sunset embodies the very best of today’s Tāmaki Makaurau – distinct, culturally diverse, and forward-thinking,” explains Sudima’s Kanika Jhujhnuwala.

“Our dream team of local industry heavyweights have created a space where the design, drinks, food, music and service come together impeccably, but the real star of the show is the city itself. The expansive views across Auckland are extraordinary and a constant reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a special place.”

Sunset’s all-star team of industry names is led by creative consultant Andrew Glenn, founder of Waiheke’s legendary restaurant and hotel, The Oyster Inn. The bar’s beverage offering has been designed by Dana Johnston, founder of iconic bars like 1885, Agents & Merchants, 46 & York and Pineapple On Parnell, and Mikey Ball, a globally respected consultant and former head bartender of London’s award-winning bars, Milk & Honey and Dandelyan.

The drink menu features a Simon Kelly-directed wine list of eclectic vintages from New Zealand to Lebanon to France to South Africa; a locally focused beer selection with rotating guest tap; and a seasonal menu of bespoke cocktails such as the Pepper Leaf Fix with pink gin, boysenberry, kawakawa pepper and golden grapefruit juice. Sunset’s manager Pauline Leray brings a wealth of experience from cocktail bar XUXU while esteemed F&B manager Lisa Zhao was most recently restaurant manager at Hello Beasty. 

Executive chef Harmeet Singh Nanda, who also heads up East, the popular plant-powered restaurant on the hotel’s ground floor, has collaborated with chefs Maximus Perry and Samson Stewart, two of the talented trio behind award-winning Christchurch restaurant 5th Street, to create the food menu.

Maximus and Samson, through their consultancy Four Hands, support Sudima Hotels across their F&B network; most recently, they consulted on the development and opening of Sudima Christchurch City’s lauded modern New Zealand bistro, The Lane. 

The menu is inspired by chef Harmeet’s childhood memories of Mumbai street eats, reinterpreted with global flavours. In keeping with East, there are many vegetarian and vegan options available; snacks such as Sunset Sliders with potato hash, plum chutney, feta and coriander (vegetarian) and Crispy Poppadoms with whipped avocado, pomegranate and green chilli salsa (vegan) sit alongside other plates like Lamb Skewers, with Clevedon buffalo curd and coriander oil, and Sunset Koftas with whipped garlic toum, white onion and parsley salad (vegan). 

Paris is Burning founder and renowned DJ Cam Robertson has curated Sunset’s DJ programme, drawing from his love of all things house and disco and his vast experience from across the globe to create the ultimate Sunset soundtrack.

DJ Sunset Sessions will take place on Thursday to Saturday nights year-round, with legendary musicians Nathan Haines and Jaimie Webster Haines joining Cam to play on August 6 , from 6 – 9pm. Sunset is open to the public now. Located on the tenth floor of the Sudima Auckland City hotel, at 63-67 Nelson Street in Auckland’s CBD, Sunset’s opening hours are 4pm until late.

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