[编辑 Editor 刘大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 刘大人]
Fancy dining on food cooked by international hotel master chefs while sitting at a table hovering in the open sky 150 feet above ground, complete with sweeping panoramas of postcard-worthy Puteri Harbour? The chance is now for Johoreans (and Singaporeans as well).
The dining phenomenon that took Europe by storm a decade ago, in over 40 cities around the world, featuring more than 5,000 culinary events worldwide, has finally arrived in Johor Bahru. Amongst the iconic locations where Dinner In The Sky (DITS) has taken place include: the Strip of Las Vegas, the Marina of Dubai, the beach of Copacabana and Cape Town bay. Closer to home, Kuala Lumpur (and subsequently Penang) had the honour of being the first in Southeast Asia to experience dining that’s literally “out of this world”. Johoreans, now’s your chance to take in the spectacular sunset view of the Straits of Johor from the chic marina of Puteri Harbour.
The patrons: been there, done it!
可想而知，这个被福布斯（Forbes）杂志誉为世界上十大最不寻常的餐厅之一的空中餐厅，势将成为時尚名伶和知名人士喜愛的聚会场所，说不定你还可以在这里遇到仰慕的明星哦。自去年抵步大马已受到许多喜爱冒险的人士青睐，目前已成功挑战空中顶级飨宴的社会名流包括国宝级女歌星Datuk Siti Nurhaliza、大马羽坛一哥拿督李宗伟、本地名模谢丽萍等，可说是众星云集。此次新山站也特别邀请到柔佛总警长Dato’ Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd主持开幕礼，大马环球小姐及来自邻国的国际名厨郭文秀、知名网络红人夏雪，新柔美食博客兼好友Johor Kaki等一起共襄盛举！
Look Ma! Some of the more notable “daredevils” that have experienced dinner in the Johorean skies include Miss Malaysia Universe Kiran Jassal, internationally acclaimed Chef Justin Quek, celebrity blogger Wendy Cheng (Xiaxue) and Tony (Johor Kaki) from Singapore, joining an illustrious list that already includes Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Dato’ Lee Chong Wei, Amber Chia and now… Yours truly LOL!
If you have a phobia for heights, rest assured that safety measures are a top priority at DITS Malaysia. Seats are similar to those found on a roller coaster and you’ll be strapped in tightly at all times. The chair does swivel, but there is a small footrest in front of your chair for your feet, so you can swing your feet off for a bit of a thrill.
Grab the corner seats, if you can get them. For the best views ahead, go for seats 1-8 are (we were seated at number 1 and 2), and for the best selfies (with Puteri Harbour behind you), seats 12-19 are preferred. The latter group of seats will also be the ones facing the sunset. Seats 9-11 and 20-22 are the end seats, and 1, 8, 9, 11, 12, 19, 20, and 22 are the corners. Actually, this advice is subject to the seats not being renumbered, and chances are, you may get spun around while airborne to take in the sights and sounds of Puteri Harbour in any case!
The restaurant consists of a suspended platform off a crane, with a capacity for 22 people seated in comfortable rotating seats (180 degrees) around a table-bar, and secured by a system of belts in 6 anchor points from where we can spot the best views of Puteri Harbour. The middle of the table is cut out, and replaced with a platform which has space for an oven and 5 people, including two air stewards (cum safety officers) and a culinary trio led by Chef Jaffery from Tosca Trattoria Italiana of Doubletree by Hilton Johor Bahru, all strapped into harnesses.
The starters: preparing for take-off
Safety, technology and stability get top marks, and we never felt unsafe or in any sort of danger at any point. The crane and crew were tested and approved by TÜV SÜD, a renowned and well-respected German safety testing organisation, so this is pretty clearly a professionally run operation.
Ready, get set, CLICK! Time for a quick selfie before we lift off.[/thb_contentbox]
Before we even realise, the platform was already off the ground, with a grand sending off from the appreciative crowd below.
UP, up and away… The ascent itself was steady and well-paced, we could hardly notice the climb unless we keep looking down.
The main course: so what’s UP?
The atmosphere on deck is lively and fun, with the chefs and crew providing much interaction with diners. Party tunes add to the vibe and you’re bound to make new friends with your tablemates by bonding over the fact that we will be suspended in mid air at least for the next 60 minutes.
Forget about your usual appetiser menu of soup or salad, and in it’s place is the most unique starter dish beyond your wildest imagination – a piece of Straits of Johor, with a choice between the sunshine, the romantic sunset or the bright lights of Puteri Harbour at night to begin the most exciting… flight of your life!
Pick your desired main course from one the following options:
♠ Corner seats that offer arguably the best overall views
♣ Seat 1-8 for the best view of Puteri Harbour ahead
♥ Seat 12-19 for the best selfies that come with bragging rights
♦ Seat 10 or 21 for the ultimate wefies to take in all the sights and sounds on board DITS
If you’re feeling really adventurous, feel free to swivel your chair left and right to catch the beautiful nightscape of Puteri Harbour all round. Did we also mention that free flow fun and laughter are the order of the night?
Dessert was better than expected, but not everyone will get the full works. A gourmet dinner in the sky, with fireworks bursting right before your eyes, how’s that for a fitting finale to a spectacular experience (Sorry guys, media preview only)?
The desserts: gastronomy delights from Doubletree!
Chef Jaffery delivered a stellar four-course meal that was specially created for this event. Much of the food was prepared in advance and then finished in a convection oven on the elevated platform. We started off with white anchovies dressed with balsamic jelly, served with marinated wild strawberries, yellow frisee lettuce and feta goat cheese, followed by basil and green pea soup served with rich truffle cream, our gastronomy adventure continued with baked free range chicken breast dressed with Porcini mushroom sauce and served with Koffman’s cabbage and fondant potato. Tony from Johor Kaki was kind enough to offer us his heavenly wagyu beef cheek, served with with gaufrette potato and baby spinach. The beef was so tenderly soft, with every effortless chew released bursts of beefy sweet flavour and aroma, it’s no wonder Tony quickly went back to his beef after a quick sample of our equally tender chicken breast.
Dessert was too soon as we made our descent down to earth and get back to reality, with many of us still digging deep into the glass to scrap out that last spoonful of creamy cherry tiramisu. The dinner itself was pretty good, given the limitations inherent in the experience, Chef Jaffery and his team did an admirable job, delivering the meal smoothly and sociably.
All good things must come to an end.
A hero’s welcome, pyrotechnics lit up all around us.[/thb_contentbox]
With all due respect, the price tag was pretty steep, and this wasn’t going to be comparable to fine dining in a ground-based high end restaurant, and we would expect some wine or champagne (if not free-flow) to have been included in the price. The meal was somewhat hurried, even though they paced it quite well, but an hour for a four-course meal doesn’t leave us much time to relax and soak it all in. Nevertheless, it was a novel and interesting way to have a meal as a one-off experience.
Despite the light drizzle, visibility at night was still good. The views, though certainly nice, were not especially inspiring. We couldn’t help but think that this setup would have been much more impressive in a place like the empty car park besides Doubletree by Hilton JB (the future Ibrahim International Financial District, our beloved HRH Sultan Ibrahim willing), or Tanjung Puteri, which would certainly have afforded some lovely views across the Causeway and downtown JB, even from only 150 feet up. Perhaps if Dinner in the Sky does return to JB, other venues could be explored.
Book your “flight” tickets NOW!
Session 2: 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm[/thb_contentbox]
Marinated Wild Strawberries, Yellow Frisee, Feta Cheese, White Anchovies and Balsamic Jelly
Green Pea and Basil Soup, Truffle CreamBasil
CHOICE OF MAIN COURSE
Australian Lamb Rump, Cherry Tomato on the vine, Grilled Parmesan Polenta and Jus Viande
– OR –
Free Range Chicken Breast Koffman’s Cabbage, Fondant Potato and Porcini Mushroom Sauce
– OR –
Slow Cooked Wagyu Beef Cheek, Gaufrette Potato and Baby Spinach
– OR –
Baked Cod Fish, Red Pepper Chutney, Spinach, Horseradish Mash, Fresh Passion Fruit
All content and ratings are based on MAGistrate’s collective opinions and experiences, which we hope will be informative and interesting for readers and perhaps, lead you to form your own opinions and preferences. While we make every effort to ensure that our information is current and correct, some items and prices may change without our knowledge.
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