Mission to the Stars

Food & Drink - November 17th, 2006
New York Grill

Cat Stewart floats above Tokyo

You’ve been there, you’ve done that, you saw it in Lost in Translation, and then you went there and did it again. But the Park Hyatt’s New York Grill somehow keeps you coming back. A visit to the New York Grill remains the best birthday present from a lover, the perfect getaway for a girls’ night out, and the kindest indulgence you can give to yourself. Why is this? How can one restaurant remain in such high esteem in everyone’s hearts and minds? I decided a mission was necessary. A mission to find out if the New York Grill is in fact as fabulous as everyone says!

Getting There Part One

“Park Hyatt, please” I said to the cab driver, then realized how good it felt to say that. I wanted to just say it again and again. But I didn’t, I just tried to act like it was the most natural thing in the world for little me to be going off to the Park Hyatt on a weeknight. A warm feeling of entitlement started to take over.

Getting There Part Two: Getting Higher!

I stepped fabulously out of my taxi and into the Park Hyatt and joined my friend. The elevator took us way up to the 41st floor, where a panoramic view of Tokyo greeted us. But no, this was not our destination yet, we had to go even higher—through the lobby, past some bookshelves and other dining areas, and into another, secret-feeling elevator, then up to the 52nd floor. To the New York Grill itself. Karina Shima, the immaculate manager of international Public Relations, greeted us with a smile that said, “Ladies, you’ve finally arrived.”

The Bar Part One

Karina explained to us that the New York Grill has recently undergone a design renewal. “The overall look hasn’t really changed, but we’ve added a few little twists.” And she’s right—to the New York Grill dabbler, the change is not overly noticeable. The chefs are still busy in their stainless steel, immaculate kitchen area and the Tokyo skyline is still an adorable little blur below (“ha-ha, look at the little mortals,” I thought to myself).

Drinking In

Of course we had to have champagne with our meal. Schramsberg Brut Rose Cali 2003 (I know it’s not champagne, but I’m a Cali girl and this was good!), followed by some Louis Roederer Brut Premiere, and things were looking grand. Not that champagne goggles were necessary with the New York Grill menu.

And it’s the type of menu that requires this writer to eat significantly into my allocated word count to describe. The Fresh Hokkaido Taraba Crab with Green Asparagus and Classic “Louie” Sauce (see what I mean about the word count?) was gorgeous; tangy sauce complimenting the thick pieces of crabmeat. However, it was the Ise Lobster that I ordered from their oven that really blew me away. “I think this is the most expensive thing I’ve ever eaten in my life,” I said to my friend as the freakishly huge Ise Lobster arrived at our table. I felt like a princess as one of the tall, handsome, and friendly waiters came and yanked out the flesh from the shell.

Listen Up

After all that yanking and chewing, where else to go but the bar? And what else to order but pink champagne? Now here is where you can find the real Lost in Translation vibe. Beautiful singer Nicole Henry was in, singing the house down with her smoky jazz vocals. She sang Summer Time, and all eyes were on her. Including ours. “I want to wear a fabulous dress and be just like her,” said my friend. “So do I,” I responded, ordering another pink champagne. Something about the atmosphere made conversation flow and inhibitions go.

All Good Things Come to an End

So it was with a heavy heart that our night came to a close. We turned our backs sadly on the bar above the clouds, descended down the elevators, and I took the subway home to my small, basement apartment. Mission, sadly, accomplished. The New York Grill is truly as wonderful as you think it is. Now when can I find an excuse to go back…

New York Grill

New York Grill
Park Hyatt Tokyo
3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku
Tel. 03-5322-1234