The New York Grill at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Japan

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: In `exchange for lunch at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, I am writing this review.

It seems I can’t get enough of this hotel.  Could part of that be because I once made Bill Murray laugh by uttering a Japanese line from the bonus section of the Lost in Translation DVD?  Yes.  And there goes the first and last name drop in BuildingMyBento history.

One of these days, I’ll even stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

Until then, I’ll be very content merely eating there.  In May, it was a nice Japanese meal at Kozue, as well as a couple of drinks at the New York Bar.  This time, after a short stopover on my way home from Jeddah, we’re going to look at the delectable New York Grill.

Two cool aspects about the New York Grill is that you can peer through its open kitchen and floor-to-ceiling wine cellar while walking to the main dining room.  There are even a few seats at the kitchen, though I’m quite partial to those right next to the high windows overlooking the endless Tokyo sprawl. After all, it’s on the 52nd floor.

Park Hyatt Tokyo, New York Grill & Bar– Not Quite the Same View, But…

Lunch is served daily from 11:30 to 14:30, and dinner runs daily from 17:30 to 22:00.  For lunch only, you order the mains á la carte, but appetizers and dessert are served buffet-style.  Also, shorts are permitted during lunchtime, but not at dinner.

Having been denied a lunch buffet on an earlier trip to Jakarta, I was prepared for a quality spread at the New York Grill.

They did not disappoint.

Taken from the Dessert Side, Looking Towards the Appetizers Side…Unless You’re in the Dessert First Category.

The buffet at first glance, looked small and easy to maneuver.  More importantly, however, is that the food tastes fresh and good…in general, I have mostly positive things to say about it.  Even though the New York Grill is mostly influenced by Western European and American cuisines, the kitchen takes a page from Japanese culinary traditions, too, using seasonal and local ingredients where possible.

The appetizers section had salad, sliced fish and meats, a variety of vegetables and condiments, homemade ricotta, and seafood.

Clockwise from 12:00, shrimp, guacamole, homemade ricotta, polychromatic tomatoes, pesto, garlicky eggplant, and seafood salad

Leafy greens, pastrami, katsuo, smoked salmon, and kabocha

Almost as soon as I was seated by the attentive and courteous waitstaff, I got up again to go to the buffet.  In other words, I didn’t even see them place the freshly baked olive bread on the table.  Oh, and that Hokkaido Okoppe Butter is shipped daily to the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  It’s darn good.

Eventually, I took a break from the buffet, and visited the main dish portion of the menu.  Yes, yes, I’m sure the chicken, seafood, and pork loin all would have been equally delicious, but I zoomed right in on a half-half: that is, half Kobe beef, half Sendai beef, served with garlic mashed potatoes and red wine sauce:

It was my first time trying both the Kobe and Sendai steaks, and they certainly lived up to their reputations.  I might actually give the nod to the Sendai cut (on the left), because it wasn’t quite as oily.  They didn’t need the red wine treatment either; they tasted excellent without the reduction.  If only a sampler platter of steak was available, I…still wouldn’t be hungry today.

After eating half of my weight in vegetables and beef, I elected to fill in the other half with dessert.  Given that much of Japan is inching closer towards autumn, plums and grapes figured prominently in the pies.  Other delightful sweets included passion fruit and vanilla custards, a decadent chocolate cake, and doughnut balls with whipped cream.  Without hyperbole, I was pleasantly full long before getting to most of the plate, but the taste and not-so-overpowering sweetness easily sustained my enthusiasm.

Lots of good food, a clean and welcoming atmosphere, and great views, but…who’s the chef behind the scenes?

Beginning in 2003, Hamburg, Germany-bred Chef Steffan Heerdt started cultivating his cooking skills at Park Hyatt Hamburg, before stints at the Park Hyatt Zurich and Park Hyatt Seoul.  He has been with the Park Hyatt Tokyo since December 2016.

I’d return to the New York Grill without question, save for the fact that they have a New York Yankees mural in the main dining room (c’mon, the Mets are the NY team).  Now, if they could whip up an eel and Sendai beef surf and turf for me next time…

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