Located 190m above the ground, Orbit is Auckland's only revolving restaurant, serving award-winning a la carte New Zealand cuisine with a 360 degree revolving view of Auckland.
Open for lunch and dinner, with Brunch available on the weekends.
Bookings are recommended, phone (09) 363-6000.
Restaurant access located by the Gift Shop at the base of the Tower, enter via Main Atrium. Underground parking available via Federal Street or Hobson Street entries. Pay by cash, credit, eftpos or Action Points.
Having been in the SkyCity venue the day before, attending a conference, we booked our lunch reservations early to avoid possible disappointment. As it transpired, this wasn't needed, as the lunch shift was less than a quarter full. This was good, however, because it gave us a bit of privacy to chat over our meals.
The views... well... considering the location, and the fact that it slowly revolves at a rate of 1 cycle every 75 minutes or so, the views are amazing, but not good if you suffer vertigo or are very sensitive to small changes in acceleration. I could feel the restaurant's small pauses and pulses in movement as we ate, and by the end of the meal I was glad to be heading out to solid places that don't spin...
As an entree we ordered a bowl of cheese & herb tortellini with white wine cream, rocket, balsamic reduction and grilled prosciutto ham. At $16.50, it quite happily fed the pair of us adults, while the little fella with us enjoyed his grilled fillet steak with chips and had the salad swapped out for veges. The tortellini was delightful, fully cooked through, yet still firm to the bite. The sauce was creamy and full of flavour, to the point we were pinching some of our son's fries to mop the bowl clean. He was OK with that, being happily stuffed on a fairly decent slab of steak, but a couple of small bread rolls would be an excellent side-dish with the pasta.
For mains I chose the oven-baked chicken breast on potato mash, buttered spinach and a herb cream. Priced at $28.50, it was quite reasonable a meal, though the chicken was a little dry as well... must be something to do with winter or big ovens, because even I can cook moist chicken, and I don't like cooking chicken! The herb cream was rich and complimented the chicken well, somewhat masking the dry meat. The potato mash looked, and tasted, as though it had kumara in it... which if that was the case, well done. I am quite a fan of kumara.
While we adults were just about finishing our mains, our son's dessert came out. Part of his kids combo, he got the mains and a chocolate ice-cream rocket for dessert, for $19.50 all up.
Overall, this venue by far offers you the most stunning views of Auckland, including the odd skyjumper wizzing past your table as you eat. Can easily imagine it could be a bit distracting seeing a falling body out of the corner of your eye... but you just have to expect that if you dine here, 2m below the launching point for the jump. The service was excellent, attentive without being obtrusive, and full of answers to our questions. Not a venue to take lightly, this would be quite magical in the late evening, and I would love to try it again, but this time about half an hour after I have popped a couple of dramamine. As a bonus, if you spend an average of $25 or more per person, you are welcome to move down to the observation deck below, or up to the more fancy, non-revolving restaurant above, on the same level as the skyjumpers' launch platform and the soon-to-open SkyWalk 360... Now THAT would be something freaky to try at night! Watch for it...
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