There are few things I enjoy more than a delicious meal, especially if it comes with a side of gorgeous views. Add in good company plus great conversation, and I’m basically set for life. (That meal also better include dessert)
So needless to say when I found out about the Space Needle’s SkyCity Restaurant, which sits at 500 feet in the air and rotates to give 360 degree views of Seattle, I knew I couldn’t settle for just a regular visit to the city’s most iconic landmark.
I had good company (myself). Check.
Great conversation (more like a monologue but my inner thoughts are pretty entertaining). Check.
I obviously had great views, and with one look at their 3-course prix fixe brunch menu, which included dessert (yessss), I knew I was in for one incredibly delicious and satisfying meal. Double check.
My solo brunch date with the Space Needle just so happened to be on a fairly sunny day (rare-ish for Seattle) so when I hopped into the glass elevators that led up to SkyCity Restaurant, my fellow diners and I had a gorgeous sneak peak of the views we were about to enjoy while stuffing our faces.
Before checking out SkyCity, I had always wondered how these rotating restaurants worked. Did that one floor of the building rotate? Did the whole building rotate or was it just the windows for some weird, physics-defying reason? I got my answer almost right away after stepping off the elevator. The circular center of the restaurant with the hostess stand, waiting area, kitchen and stairwell to the observation deck above, was stable. The windows were also stationary. What moved was the dining area.
All along the edges of this circular room were tables sitting on top of what looked like a conveyor belt. As the hostess led the way to my table, she warned me to watch my step while entering the dining area. I could clearly see the division between the moving belt and the stable center, but it moved so slowly that I wasn’t too worried. My accident prone days are over (for the most part), and when I realized she was headed to a table directly next to the window with nothing but a crystal clear glass between me and the rotating views of Seattle’s skyline, I was way too busy getting excited to even have time to worry.
I sat at what felt like a VIP table and eagerly started looking at the menu. The views were great and all, but I was there to EAT! While I drooled over my options and decided which combination of first and second-course dishes would give me a perfectly sweet and salty brunch, I was supplied with some fluffy orange scones (probably to soak up the drool) and a big glass of orange juice. The scones were so delightfully warm and had just the right amount of sweetness. Their light, almost cake-like texture seemed to melt in my mouth. It was a heavenly way to tie me over while I debated between the biscuits and gravy with jalapeño infused honey , the smoked salmon huevos rancheros and several other equally tempting options.
When I go out to eat, I have a tendency to analyze my choices as if I were choosing my last meal. As if every bite should satisfy my tastebuds and my soul. With a menu as appetizing and varied as the brunch at SkyCity Restaurant, it was an insanely difficult decision-making process that eventually led me to a meal I was more than happy with.
For my first course, I started off with a sweet option: a malted buttermilk waffle topped with sweet cream and strawberries. The waffle was exactly as any perfect waffle should be– slightly crisp texture on the outside while light and fluffy on the inside. Between the smooth sweet cream and the strawberries, the waffle had just the right amount of sugar to make me totally forget that I usually drown my waffles in maple syrup.
For the second course, I decided to go with one of their signature savory options known as The Benny– a dish made with layer upon layer of flavor. The base was a simple slice of what I believe was an English muffin toasted on a griddle with tons of buttery goodness. The next layer included two delectably thick strips of bacon that were cooked to just the right amount of crispiness. Next up on the stack of flavors was a generous helping of dungeness crab whose smooth texture was an interesting contrast to the bacon and toasted bread. You can’t visit Seattle without trying at least a little seafood so that crab meat was just what I needed. The crowning jewel on this tower of deliciousness was a poached egg topped with a thick citrus sauce that added a unique touch of almost tangy flavor to unify the dish as a whole. And as if all that were not enough, the dish came with a heaping side of crispy breakfast potatoes… **drools on keyboard**
I was getting fairly full at that point, but dessert doesn’t go to my stomach. It brings happiness straight to my heart so there’s always room for it. And with that in mind, for my third and final course at the Space Needle’s fabulous SkyCity Restaurant, my conflicted sweet tooth ended up choosing the white chocolate macadamia nut bread pudding. I’m extremely picky when it comes to bread pudding but decided to risk it since my love of white chocolate tends to override everything else.
The risk was worth it. Unlike many of the mediocre bread puddings I’ve tried in the past, not a single crumb of this nutty, white chocolate-filled glory was dry. Every bite was moist and bursting with flavors like hints of cinnamon and vanilla which perfectly complemented the white chocolate. And remember that scrumptious sweet cream that donned the top of my waffle earlier? Well, that same deliciousness along with some strawberry slices and toasted coconut flakes topped off this sweet ending to my incredible meal.
What made this whole experience even more pleasant was not only the gorgeous 360-degree views of Seattle’s skyline, but also the kind, attentive and overall excellent service I received from all members of the SkyCity Restaurant staff. There was even a photographer taking photos of all the diners, which could later be downloaded for free from their website. It was a nice touch to have a professional photo taken of me at a tourist attraction without being harassed to buy it.
After my meal, I headed upstairs to the observation deck for more photos and one last look at Seattle’s skyline. Besides enjoying the views in the fresh air, I learned some fun facts about Seattle through the interactive displays and also saw the motor that powers the rotations of SkyCity Restaurant’s dining area below. It was surprisingly small but obviously powerful.
In the end, I left the Space Needle with a full belly and a happy heart. The brunch at SkyCity Restaurant may be pricey for some (brunch menu is currently priced at $52.95), but if you have room to splurge, this meal is definitely worth it. Not only is it delicious, but you get SO much food that it really could keep you full for the rest of the day. I know that was the case for me at least.
And on top of all that, you get to kill two birds with one stone by enjoying the Seattle skyline views and a scrumptious meal all at the same time. It’s a win-win.