“You spin me right round, baby right round” Ahem, sorry.
In my experience over the years, restaurants with amazing views have more often than not have low quality food. There have been a few exceptions; Hutong at the Shard, Duck and Waffle brunches and Peninsula Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel. It seems as though the restauranteurs know they can get away with this because the view is so beautiful and restaurant goers are usually tourists who have money to burn and won’t go back any time anyway.
Sorry, grouch over. The Auckland Sky Tower is totally different (and that’s not just national pride kicking in). I’d been there a long while ago for their sumptuous buffet, but my sister visited a couple of years ago and pronounced that it hadn’t lost any of the quality.
So, when arranging to meet up wth Ngaire @ KiwiFootprints (she moved back to New Zealand from London a while ago, much to my dismay) we bandied about a meal overlooking the beautiful Auckland skyline, and booked into the rotating Sky City Orbit 360° Dining in the Sky Tower with gluttonous glee.
Truth be told my sister and I ran a little late – there was the slight problem of being stuck at the base of Rangitoto Island (a dormant volcano) that we had surprised ourselves by hiking, so a little later than planned and just as the sun began to set we sped across Auckland Harbour.
The Sky Tower used to be the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the 23rd tallest tower in the world
(Sorry, I’ve learnt over the years that I’m not very good at writing straight up restaurant reviews – my experience is so coloured and brought alive by the company I keep and the reason that we are there, so not recording those details would be like a song without any music aka a dude thumping into a drum and shouting ‘nice food!!’. This conjures images of George Dawes.)
I met Ngaire (or Na-gar-eeee as she usually gets called – her name is a beautiful Maori name pronounced ‘Ny-ree’ and means silver fern in the original Hawaiian) back in London, when we were both expats struggling to meet nice people. And thanks to a little stalking over the internet we became friends and got up to all kinds of fun before she booked in an epic journey back to New Zealand to be nearer her family.
Oh right, yes, dinner. Having quickly changed our shoes, applied a little face paint and put our glad rags, we met her at the base of the Sky Tower.
Our meal was delicious. From my starter of Duck liver parfait, smoked duck ham, duck confit roll and doris plum chutney, to Ngaire and Alice’s chicken to beef and right through again to my duck breast, each dish was executed with delicacy and panache.
My dessert of Cheesecake with a twist, served with orchard apricot and lime fruits, cheesecake cream, oat crumb was ridiculously good…
…and Ngaire demonstrated the delicious deconstructed Jaffa cake – a chocolate sphere filled with orange and chocolate.
By the time we left, satiated and content, the sun had completely disappeared and the Southern Lights were sparkling above our heads. The lighting inside was subdued to make the most of gorgeous 360 views, so apologies for the image quality. I just had to share this.
We stopped to look over the lit up harbour, and stopped for a quick selfie.
A perfect night.
What is your experience of restaurants with a view?