Saturday, February 9, 2008

The New York Bar / A Tokyo Night Out

I have a new favorite restaurant in the world. On the 52nd floor of the Tokyo Park Hyatt Hotel in the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo, is the New York Bar. I had ear-marked it as a must-do because it was featured in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, but knowing it would be pricey, had saved it for the very last night.

I rallied a few hostel-buddies I had befriended, we dolled ourselves up and we hopped the (very easily navigable) subway from our hostel in the Asakusa neighborhood. I was instantly smitten by the ambience: an (American?) jazz band was blowing the blues, the views were heartbreakingly gorgeous, and the menu, as chi-chi as it was, had me melting with excitement as I poured over the cocktail list.

I sampled two different bellinis, and a artisinal cheese selection that, at nearly 3000 yen was my most expensive meal in my two week stay. I certainly felt like the queen of luxury while I was there! The New York Bar was, without doubt, one of the best bar / restaurants I have ever dined at in my life.

**Note: If you choose to follow my recommendation and dine here yourself, beware of price! There is a per-person service charge in the evenings. This fee is worth it, though, because you get to experience the jazz band and views of Tokyo by night!

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Karaoke Time!

What visit to Japan is complete without a trip to the old Karaoke parlor? A little-known fact (well... to me) that I picked up some more Tokyo-savvy acquaintances is that all their subways stop running from midnight until 6am. That leaves the late-nighters options to either hail a cab... or party until 6am.

Since my hostel crew had no desire to do either, we took the subway back to our neighborhood, Asakusa, around 11pm and hit up the local Shidax. We spent two hours drinking beers, eating (a few opted to starve as oppose to shell out the dough at the New York Bar), and belting out Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All", and finishing the night with a little Sinatra "My Way". And yes, the music was in English! The videos on the other hand...

And my FAVORITE thing about the Shidax: themed floors! Although there was no evidence that the themes carried over in any way to the actual karoake rooms, each floor had a delightful nickname: Russian Dance Elegant, Remember the '70s, and my personal favorite: Prison HipHop in NY!

1 comment:

Sanne said...

Good for people to know.