Review: New York Bar (Tokyo, Japan)

Park Hyatt Tokyo
3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku
Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 163-1055
Japan
+81 3 5322 1234
http://tokyo.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/dining/NewYorkBar.html

As clichéd as it sounds, I had always wanted to make like Bill and Scarlett by having a drink or two at the New York Bar in Tokyo’s Park Hyatt hotel. So when I Tinder-matched with a guy staying not only in the same hotel as me (the other Hyatt just around the corner) but two floors away AND was also down for a drink at the Park Hyatt, I was on like Donkey Kong – for drinks, I meant, not for getting up to no good.

After meeting the guy at our hotel lobby, we walked across and took the lift up to the 52nd level where breathtaking Tokyo city views and soft live jazz music greeted us.

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My crappy iPhone photo cannot do this view justice. But it wasn’t like I could whip out my SLR – for one thing, I was on a Tinder meet-up (I refuse to call them dates) and secondly, the New York Bar has a strict rule against bringing in cameras and video recording devices.

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With a bowl of complimentary nuts on the side, we ordered some whiskies. I don’t remember what my buddy had but I had a lovely glass of Taketsuru 25 YO (¥5300(AUD55)). A rare edition of Nikka Taketsuru’s blended malt whisky (I haven’t seen it in Australia – no wonder, as only 120 bottles were made available in Europe), this beauty had strong floral notes with hints of cherries shining through, followed by a soft peaty finish.

Bar nibbles: smoked nuts, Iberico pork jerky, shrimp popcorn ¥1800(AUD19)
Bar nibbles: smoked nuts, Iberico pork jerky, shrimp popcorn ¥1800(AUD19)

We were looking to get a proper dinner elsewhere but I wasn’t going to leave without trying New York Bar’s nibbles. Not only was it the most interesting thing on the bar menu (it was pretty much pizzas, salads and all that stuff), I can never turn down jerky – especially IBERICO PORK JERK because who the hell does that?!

The smoked nuts were lovely and moreish (I dislike using that word but it’s very apt in this situation plus, cut me some slack – I’m still recovering from a four-day migraine). The shrimp popcorn was nice – think salted butter with the lovely umami-ness of dried shrimp – but the pork jerky was the star of the show. Deliciously fatty and buttery, it melted in my mouth. And got me excited about making jerky again, a thing I used to do back home quite a bit.

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We had another glass of whisky each – this time I had the Taketsuru 21 year old at ¥2100(AUD22), a more chocolatier and sweeter version than the older version.

I would have stayed here all night – the music was sublime and I was happy just to look at the views and people-watch. However, we were hungry so we got off our stools and walked out into the Tokyo night, vowing to return – without each other.

I eat too much.

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