If you enjoyed the 2003 movie drama “Lost In Translation,” you will love the dining experience at New York Grill. Located on the 52nd floor of the world famous Park Hyatt Tokyo, it is the restaurant adjacent to the featured New York Bar where Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and Bob Harris (Bill Murray) first meet and occasionally retreat for a cocktail in one hand and a cigarette in the other. New York Grill offers an upscale menu with a dress code. So, if you’re celebrating a special occasion in Japan and desire the comforts of international service, this is the perfect place to start a classy night on the town in Shinjuku (also known as Tokyo’s New York City).
Atop the 52nd floor, the panoramic view alone is a dramatic statement. It is simply stunning as you step out from the elevator. Naturally, you gravitate towards the floor-to-ceiling glass windows to discover the beauty of Shinjuku as if you were on cloud nine. The lovely hostesses will then escort you to your table, but be prepared to have your camera ready. The main thoroughfare was New York Bar and I wanted to capture every step of the way behind the lens. Wow! The lounge was exactly what the movie projected and more. The evening sunset lit up the live jazz stage and highlighted Tokyo’s Empire State Building (NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building).
Our table, for a party of three, was situated in the main dining area. When I made an online reservation, I requested window seating. Since the perimeter is limited to tables for two, we were advised they would accommodate the request by seating us as close as possible. They did not disappoint! Seated just a few feet away from the gorgeous panoramic view, it was the perfect scene for a fabulous dinner. No pun intended.
To keep in line with the theme, I started off with a classic cocktail called the New York: Maker’s Mark Red Top shaken with lime juice & pomegranate puree, ¥1,800. It was sweet, delicious and chilled to perfection. For dinner, there are two menu options available: Dinner Set Menu starting from ¥11,000 per person or A La Carte Menu ranging from ¥1,300 to ¥19,000 per item. We opted for A La Carte and ordered the Caesar Salad made with romaine, herb croutons, reggiano & crispy bacon ¥2,100, Prime Tuna Steak seasoned with jerk spices, avocado & tomato salsa ¥5,800, and USDA Prime Ribeye 280g ¥7,900. Our side orders were Mashed Potatoes with garlic chips ¥1,300 and Sautéed Green Asparagus ¥1,300. In addition, warm and fluffy sourdough bread is served while you wait for the main course and is refilled as you please.
The Caesar salad was crisp, evenly dressed, and not too tart. The tuna steak was prepared medium well as requested, but if I were to do it all over again I would ask for medium rare. It was still flavorful especially when paired with the fresh asparagus. But not as easy to chew as the temperature cooled. Then there was the prime rib. Not so adventurous, we stuck to what was familiar when we chose the USDA prime ribeye. Ordered medium well, it was seasoned and grilled with precision. Easy to cut and oh so savory; it was the favorite dish of the night. Then after one bite of the buttery mashed potatoes, we were all in heaven.
For the grand finale, the New York Grill staff presented us with a wonderful birthday cake. Ordered in advance, the strawberry shortcake was a delight! It was elegantly displayed on a raised glass platter and brought smiles to our faces, especially with the addition of candle sparklers and the personalized birthday message on white chocolate. At this point, three hours suddenly felt like a flash; I wanted to stay longer to enjoy the ambiance and the live jazz music. But, we were determined to get lost in translation among the bustling crowds of Tokyo.
To access New York Grill at Park Hyatt Tokyo, take a 5-minute taxi ride from Shinjuku Station. Or, from Shinjuku L-Tower, hop on the free hotel shuttle that runs every 20 minutes.