$120 per person
Skytower 72 Victoria St West, Auckland Central, Auckland
If your goal was to find the restaurant with the best view in Auckland, you'd find it at The Sugar Club. Raised stories above Auckland, the rest of city is reduced to bright specks. There's an almost surreal sense of tranquility, by being divorced from the hustle and bustle of the streets. So before I even took a bite, I was already mesmerised.
Located on the fifty third floor of the Sky Tower, your stone top table lies up a far elevator ride and past a snug bar. Like most of the high end restaurants in Auckland, Sugar Club's menu is degustation. That is, many smaller courses over the course of the night as opposed to the standard three. Atypically, you are free to choose from any of the eighteen or so dishes (including five desserts), served in the order the kitchen thinks best. Such choice was at first intimidating but our waitress deftly guided us. Staff were courteous as attentive as they needed to be, without lingering or forcing trite conversation. We choose eight savoury and two desserts to share.
The dishes came out with impeccable timing. Just as we were finished one dish and ready to eat another, it appeared. That night a couple of dishes disappointed, a couple amazed and most were wonderful. They tended to share the theme of dainty, almost delicate presentation and flavour pairing. Often dishes featured a strong base to which a few other complimentary flavours were matched. The truffle parfait was incredible darkness. The crayfish linguine was so fine, lightly oiled and paired with pine nuts. That dish ended far too early.
The langoustine dish was lacking, with three small morsels and a bland brush of red sauce.
Our final cheese course delighted with the variety of textures and flavours; from those sharper and chalkier to those runnier and creamier.
The meal lasted well into the night and while not the best degustation we'd had, it still made for an incredible shared experience. The one thing we'll not forget is the one of a kind view of Auckland.