Text: Thomas Jones
Tokyo’s city lights are a huge draw card for The Sky
If you are looking for a way to see a city all in one night and don’t have the funds for a helicopter, then you couldn’t do better than taking a table in a revolving restaurant. It’s less cramped, much cheaper, and there’s a whole lot of great food and alcohol to see you through the experience – and extremely less likely to have a mishap.
Like the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey, THE Sky (their capitals) at the New Otani Hotel is Tokyo’s 17th floor answer to the 1960s innovation of putting restaurants atop tall buildings and spinning them around 360 degrees to amuse and enrapture their clientele. You would think that the views would be enough to make the restaurant worth its salt, but THE Sky is very serious about the food on offer. So much so that they have employed not one, but four master chefs to man five ‘Stage Kitchens’, that have guests constantly moving along with the restaurant in search of their own customised experience.
After a pre-dinner drink at the bar and being seated at the table guests are invited to start their culinary journey and head off through the five stations in search of their chosen cuisines: teppanyaki, tempura, sushi, grilled Chinese dishes, and pastas and noodles. From the raw fish to the steak to the noodles, every dish is prepared fresh. Just choose your favourite ingredients from the wide selection of meats, fish and vegetables and sauces in front of you and then decide whether you want it sautéed, fried, grilled, roasted, simmered or steamed and the chefs will have you salivating in no time.Click to view slideshow.
If you leave the table in search of more food make a mental note of which direction you came from or else you may be lost forever.
The lights in the restaurant are quite dim to not obscure the twinkling of the city lights outside so it’s all very ambient and all very romantic. Even if you are one of those couples who have run out of things to say to each other, the ones that haunt restaurants worldwide, the constantly revolving world around you will provide ample prompts for conversation, so there’s no need to stare at the walls or play with your phone. For lovers with no conversational issues then just sit back and let it envelop you.
There is one thing to look out for, however. If you have had one or two wines too many and you go off in search of food or need to use the bathroom, when your plate is empty or full respectively you will find that upon your return to the dining floor that it’s moved on without you. So make a mental note of which direction you came from and if you all leave the table at once be sure to leave a napkin over the back of the chair to mark your spot or else you may be lost forever – this is coming from experience. But it can be loads of fun getting lost.
Because revolving restaurants have the twin advantages of having great views and giving everyone the best seat in the house, they all tend to be pricey. THE Sky is no exception (and quite frankly the running costs of keeping the cogs turning must be exorbitant), but the opportunity to watch a city passing by with each course is well worth the price of admission and a night out here is a very fun and delicious Tokyo night to remember.