Review: Sky Tower Orbit 360, Auckland New Zealand

When visiting Aukland New Zealand, the Sky Tower is a must-see attraction. Of course, if you are a foodie, make a dinner reservation at Orbit 360-Dining. See below for my review. Sky Tower is part of SKYcity, the hub of Auckland’s CBD (Central Business District.) At 186 meters above street level enjoy 360 degree views of everything that surrounds the city. You will have a bird’s eye view of the viaduct, Waiheke Island as well as many other destinations.

Orbit 360 Dining Room View; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

Sky Tower Orbit 360-Dining

The restaurant, Orbit 360-Dining revolves, as you sit in comfort taking in the spectacular views. You can sample some of the premium wines that are produced locally just off shore. Sit high above the city while enjoying an exquisite dinner. We chose to dine while the sun slowly set upon the bustling city and sea. It was the best timing. We arrived a bit early and headed up to the Sky Tower observation deck. As the sun set, the twinkling city lights soon dominated the view, filling the restaurant with romance. 

My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary, and I couldn’t think of a better place to honor the day. 

I kicked off our dinner with a glass of Syrah (sk Valley Artisanal Hawke’s Bay). It was a smooth full-bodied red with notes of dark berry. 

Me (Kathy Leonardo) & my hubby (Richard Bilow) celebrating anniversary at Orbit 360 at the Sky Tower; photo courtesy of ETG

The Cuisine

An entree in New Zealand is what we call an appetizer in the US. Our server reminded us that the complete dinner was a prix fixe meal. We should choose one item from each list off the menu. The choices included Entree, Main and Dessert.

My husband said “Wow they offer two entrees…” That was when we realized, they do it a bit differently down under.  

Aotearoa Salmon Tartare; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG


For my appetizer or entrée as they call it in NZ, I chose Aotearoa Salmon Tartare (avocado, dill crème fraiche, finger lime, grissini). My husband selected Harissa-marinated King Prawn (roasted yam, garlic cream, edamame, tapioca cracker). The salmon was fresh and light and delicately decorated with wisps of dill crème fraiche and avocado. It was beautifully plated. The lush crème fraiche was a flattering taste companion to the salmon as was the avocado. 

Harissa-marinated King Prawn; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

The shrimp was also visually pleasing, and the wonderful mix of flavors awoke our tastebuds. The velvety sauce alone made a huge impression on me. It was exquisite. Our server told us to save some bread for the sauce, and I am glad we did. We made sure to enjoy every last drop with our dinner rolls. Of course we shared the entrees.

Beef Short Rib; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG


For my “main” I ordered the Beef Short Rib (creamy potato mash, maple carrots, jus.) This happens to be a favorite dish of mine on the rare occasion when I eat red meat. The cooking of this dish was executed perfectly. The tender meat sat atop mashed potatoes with sweet baby carrots on the side. The light gravy (jus) clung to the potatoes and mingled with the short rib. It was a delightful union.

Hawke’s Bay Lamb Rump; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG

My husband ordered the Hawke’s Bay Lamb Rump (wild mushroom polenta, enoki, salsa verde, jus). It was also tender but much less delicate than the short rib. I adore mushrooms, so I traded some of my short rib for his delicious wild mushroom polenta. Judging by the way Richard finished off the rib meat, it was clear that he preferred this to the lamb.

The Arabica Tiramis; photo by Richard Bilow; courtesy of ETG


By the time we finished our entrees and main courses, we were both quite full. So, we opted to share one dessert. The Arabica Tiramisu (cocoa nib baileys cream) was a completely different version of this classic dish. It was sweet and creamy. Encased in a hard shell of chocolate…this was a delectable ending to a romantic anniversary dinner! It was the perfect way to kickstart our adventure in New Zealand.

Visit the website for more info about Orbit 360 –

CLICK HERE for additional articles about New Zealand; ETG also encourages you to visit New Zealand’s official tourism website –

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