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One Year On

2017 was a big year for us at QT Museum Wellington with the usual yearly happenings such as Royal New Zealand Ballet seasons, Welly On A Plate and some new explorations with Heineken Urban Polo and TEDx Wellington.

Despite these epic events in our Welly world, we’d have to say there’s one particular “OMG I can’t believe that only happened a year ago” moment that we, as a team, can’t believe … One year ago on Monday 23rd January 2017, the iconic Museum Art Hotel took the next step in its evolution as an art-centric hotel filled with curiosities at every step. It became QT Museum Wellington.

We dedicate this particular QT Life piece to the birth of QT Museum Wellington in celebration of our first year.

Joining the QT Hotels & Resorts family

Each QT hotel and resort is inspired by and embodies the unique culture of its location. QT Hotels & Resorts created a culture within QT Museum Wellington for guests to experience a quirky blend of art and design with a dash of the absurd. The star of the show remains the eccentric and eclectic art collection that will continue to be displayed at the hotel, blurring the lines between gallery and hotel lobby and all through the public spaces.

The opening of Hot Sauce

Some like it hot – and QT Museum Wellington definitely does. We were excited when our former car park and concert jungle was transformed into our Asian eating house and bar, Hot Sauce. It is now raising the temperature on the local food scene with its impressive list of creative cocktails and a menu bursting with contemporary twists on traditional Asian fusion with Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai flavours. It’s the ideal spot for a lazy afternoon grazing, a vibrant evening of dining or a cheeky nightcap … or all three.

Hot Sauce, which officially swung its doors open on Saturday September 23, is the latest addition to the QT Museum Wellington dining and drinking arena, and is inspired by the hustle and bustle of its sister venue Hot Sauce – the Melbourne laneway bar. The food is one part Japanese, one part Thai with a splash of Korean, with a dash of LA.

The kitchen team is no stranger to Asian flavours with many of our chefs having worked in kitchens in Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and China. Hot Sauce will be serving up baos, miang, sashimi, dumplings and other oriental delicacies. Adventurous signature tipple also introduce some complex unfamiliar Asian ingredients. The shiso leaf features in Hot Sauce’s signature Gangnam Shiso Style and gyokoro (sweet seaweed) muddles an Asian twist into a modern day classic, with the Kyoto Old Fashioned.

We wanted to create a space that paid homage to the various Asian cultures that have inspired the menu, whilst bringing in a sense of intrigue, intimacy and vibrancy.

The contrasting textures; polished concrete, intricate fabrication and timber create a dynamic space that is bold but beautiful and honest.

Executive Chef Laurent’s 10 year anniversary at Hippopotamus

Wellington institution and an experience of pure indulgence and opulence, Hippopotamus celebrated a significant relationship this October with much-loved Wellington chef Laurent Loudeac celebrating his tenth year as Executive Chef.

The last decade has seen Laurent make a major contribution to Wellington’s culinary landscape with his classic training and a willingness to explore and embrace local ingredients, which has created the joy of dining at Hippopotamus. The French institution’s broad menu has always been peppered with a delicious mix of comfort food and fine dining dishes and, under the direction of Laurent, has kept Hippopotamus at the top of the capital’s culinary scene.

Laurent has maintained the same culinary philosophy throughout the years  focus on fresh, balanced and simplistic combinations of flavours͟ and continually being inspired by the ingredients he uses.

The evolution of the Museum Art Hotel into QT Museum Wellington in January this year saw a refresh of the restaurants identity by famed Melbourne design studio Fabio Ongrato Design and the contemporary design aesthetic rejuvenated the brand. Together with the constant delivery of inventive dishes, high quality service and the extensive wine list, Hippopotamus with Laurent continues to elevate the capital’s burgeoning reputation as a world-class culinary destination.

Here’s to us – and many more years! We’ll leave you with famous last words from previous owner Chris Parkin himself, “The QT brand aligns so well with my original vision and philosophy for the hotel.  It’s heartening to see the legacy the Museum Art Hotel has built, evolve with the stunning QT makeover and now rightfully aligned with the new name QT Museum Wellington”.

words by chris lee

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