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A la Colthard/ Orbit restaurant Sky Tower

My readers will know my views on panoramic restaurants namely that the view is a substitute for the cuisine which as often or not is disappointing. So I went with some trepidation to the Orbit restaurant in the Sky Tower, the tallest building in New Zealand and significantly higher than either Big Ben or The Eiffel Tower.

High buildings are the symbol of a country’s virility often constructed by new or dominating nations like Germany with their tower in Berlin and various skyscrapers in China and the Gulf States. Although recently we have the Shard, Gherkin and Brighton’s very own i360 watchtower we Brits do not really do such big architectural statements.

Things did not get to a good start as the greeter at the lift on the ground floor did not have our reservation. She was like a GP peering into her computer, not the semblance of smile nor any assurance and obese to boot as she said rather resentfully she would have to create a new reservation. I wonder how such people are trained as greeting means what it says.

Up at the Orbit my arrival 20 minutes early created such problem that another greeter had to speak to his manager. This was all the odder as the restaurant was at best 10% full.

Eventually we were shown to a table and it began to revolve. It was a clear day.

I ordered scallops served in pea puree and a loin of lamb.

It’s hard to describe Kiwi cuisine, I would term it modern European, maximising the local produce of fish and meat.

The scallops were juicy and plump but the lamb a block of dry overcooked meat.

The deal was £30 for 2 course and with a Negroni, a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah came to £55. The service was attentive. I will remember the Orbit more for its spectacular  views over Auckland and the harbour than the food but I would not describe the cuisine as poor.

Our hotel the Sky City Grand was well-located and was a comfortable hotel for the corporate traveller.

One thing I liked was a drawer full of practical items you might have forgotten, an adaptor, toothpaste, Panadol.

Nothing is more irritating that to arrive after lengthy and tiring travel only to have forgotten some essential item and more hotels should supply these in the rooms.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts