The Orbit Restaurant
Whilst I was in Auckland I decided to splash the cash a bit and head to the famous revolving restaurant at the top of the iconic Sky Tower. I had already developed a fondness for the Sky Tower due to it's extreme helpfulness when I (frequently) got lost; I simply had to head towards the tower in order to find my way again. It's so tall that you can always spot it on the skyline (well, unless you are REALLY lost).
I went in late February so it was very warm, although unlike the rest of the time I was in Auckland, the weather was a bit 'iffy', as you can see from the clouds on the photos below. One day I'll go back when it's clear so I can watch the sunset in all its glory.
This was going to be the first restaurant meal I'd eaten since I arrived in New Zealand, and I was slightly worried about it due to being on my own. Like a lot of people, I can feel a bit awkward when dining solo, although it does totally depend on the atmosphere of the venue I find. I needn't have worried though because it's nice and chilled out and it's a good layout for people on their own I think.
I had booked for 6 'o' clock and as usual I was a bit late but it was relatively quiet so wasn't a problem.
The restaurant is a ring shape so the diners sit in two rows going around the outside of the tower. I thought because I was on my own I wouldn't get put in the outer seats (which have the best views), but I got a prime position, yay!
Revolving once every hour, you will get to view the whole city by the time you've finished eating, and I realised I was very happy being on my own because then I could just stare out of the window the entire time without appearing rude!
It is quite a different experience arriving by lift to a restaurant so high up, and since my trip to NZ was all about new experiences, this outing ticked all the boxes. I was definitely fully on board with spoiling myself that evening so I ordered a rather expensive 'Passion Fruit Cosmopolitan' cocktail straight away. I should say that as a normal rule I am quite tight with my cash and one of my pet hates is buying drinks because it always seems so costly for a bit of liquid that is gone in a flash (yes I know that makes me sound really miserable and stingy!) So this cocktail was a milestone for me! And if you are interested, it tasted like Jubbly ice-lollies. And therefore I really liked it :)
I self-consciously set my camera up on the edge of my table so I could take photos as the room revolved, and then I ordered the 1st course; tomato soup. I know, I know, push the boat out! But seriously it had truffle oil in it, which I've never tried before, and let me tell you it was the nicest tomato soup I've ever tasted. Sorry Heinz.
Next, for the main course, I ordered the 'five spice confit duck leg' with lentils and carrots, which also happened to be the most expensive. I still honestly don't know what a confit is...in fact hang on...OK Google says it's when meat is salt-cured and then cooked in its own fat. I now feel more educated and I hope you do too :)
I think I must have lived a sheltered life because I don't think I've ever seen a purple carrot in real-life before, let alone eaten one, but this meal had a few differently coloured varieties!
I always appreciate good-looking food, having trained my eye by watching every episode of Masterchef that has ever aired, and I thought this looked very tasty. And it certainly was, although the star for me was the sauce (or 'jus' as it is apparently called) which was cinnamon flavoured and delicious.
Now, I am definitely a dessert person, and I am also a chocoholic. So guess which option I picked from the menu! To give it its full title, the dessert was called 'Valrhona Jivara chocolate delight with a passion fruit centre' (quite a mouthful). Google has helped me out again here to tell me that Valrhona Jivara is basically a luxury brand of chocolate.
The dessert included yoghurt sorbet on a kind of chocolatey crumb, a 'chocolate delight' with a passion fruit centre, a chocolate crunchy bar slice, freeze-dried white chocolate, and of course an obligatory smear. Masterchef has taught me a dessert just ain't complete without one of those :) I have to say it does look great though, and I love little taster meals. I liked the sorbet and crumb the best, but they were all yum and surprisingly light. Often the chocolate option is quite rich and filling, but this one was a good choice after 2 courses.
I don't eat out at restaurants much and when I do they're the cheap places, so this made a very nice change....I could easily get used to it!
I would certainly recommend the Orbit restaurant if you want to treat yourself to really lovely food and of course the best views in Auckland.