The first thing you need to know is you have no reason to be afraid, not even if you have a fear of heights.
“It’s extremely, extremely, extremely safe,” said Rhiza Pascua, CEO of MMI Live, who, with her husband Angelo, has brought Dinner in the Sky to the Philippines with their partner DITS Asia. “You won’t feel it going up and when you’re up there, you just concentrate on the food, you take photos. The view is great. If you go on the 5:30 one, you get to see the sunset. At 7 p.m., you get to enjoy the lights and the skyline.”
Dinner in the Sky, which allows people to enjoy delicious meal prepared by chefs 150 feet in the air, is on Forbes’ list of Top 10 Most Unusual restaurants.
Since the announcement of the Philippine run, organizers have been flooded with inquiries and reservations.
Rhiza first experienced Dinner in the Sky in Belgium four years ago. “It was great, I was smitten. I loved the experience, I wanted to go back again. And then I just kept going. Last year, we were in Romania for Holy Week, and we went again. We love to eat and we love unique experiences. Dinner in the Sky is a combination of the two.”
They wanted to bring the experience to Filipinos, thus the first run here, which began on April 3 and will last until May 21.
Dinner in the Sky was developed in Belgium by Stefan Kerkhofs 12 years ago. He said, “I have an attraction company and we had a big platform and we would lift people 50 meters in the sky. Once, we were on this platform at a concert, and one of my friends said, “Hey Stefan, wouldn’t it be great if we can eat and drink here?”
Stefan partnered with David Ghysels and made Dinner in the Sky happen. “This is the best way to cure your fear of heights,” said Stefan. “It’s very comfortable, you have a six-point seatbelt. It’s very safe. Safety is our number one priority.”
Dinner in the Sky has never had a single accident. The platform and machinery were designed following German guidelines on flying structures while the platforms are built and regularly checked and maintained in Belgium.
Stefan’s experience with melding cranes and entertainment goes back 29 years. “Even when I was a child, I played with cranes because we had a crane company.”
With Dinner in the Sky, he added food to the mix. The first Dinner in the Sky meal? Oysters. “It was fairly simple,” Stefan said, laughing.
Today, Dinner in the Sky has reached 63 countries, with more on the way. And the menu is far from simple, not with fantastic chefs at the helm of each meal. Usually, one chef handles an entire Dinner in the Sky run but not in Manila.
Rhiza said, “I integrated the MMI style here for Dinner in the Sky Philippines. I said, ‘Why don’t we change the chefs every two weeks or so?’ That way, we can get a lot of people to return. It’s the same when we announce our new concerts, people start calling, they get excited. We want that. We want returns.”
Michelin star chef
The lineup of chefs includes three from official food and venue partner Solaire Resort and Casino—Chef Hylton Le Roux of Waterside (April 2 to 8), Chef Alan Marchetti from Finestra (April 9 to 15) and Yakumi’s Norimasa Kosaka (April 16 to 23). Chef Kenneth Cacho, Director for Culinary Arts of the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management, will be featured from April 24 to May 7. “He’s our personal favorite (Filipino chef). He’s the only local chef featured in Dinner in the Sky,” said Rhiza. Michelin star Chef Yves Mattagne, who runs Sea Grill in Brussels, completes the lineup (May 8 to 21). “He’s the number one chef in Belgium. He’s going to be here for three weeks for our finale,” said Rhiza.
The table accommodates 22 diners. There are two seatings each day, one at 5:30 p.m. and another at 7 p.m. The experience lasts for one hour. Bookings can be made on the website www.dinnerinthesky.ph.
Economy Class seats, which are P9990 per head, includes entrance to Dinner in the Sky Philippines lounge, exclusive four-course dinner menu and complimentary juice and water during the meal.
Business class seats, P14990 per head, includes entrance to Dinner in the Sky Philippines lounge, exclusive upgraded five-course dinner menu, complimentary juice and water during the meal, one glass of champagne at the lounge, two glasses of wine (one in the lounge and one during the meal) and priority boarding.
First class seats, which cost P24990 per head, includes entrance to Dinner in the Sky Philippines lounge, exclusive premium five-course dinner, complimentary juice and water during the meal, free flow champagne at the lounge, free flow wine at the lounge and during the meal, six pieces of fresh oysters from Finestra, eight pieces of The Patisserie Signature chocolates. First class diners will be the first to board.
Rhiza and Angelo are also Dinner in the Sky’s partner in bringing the experience to the US later this year. “We’re gonna start with the major cities,” said Rhiza.
And this won’t be the last time Dinner in the Sky will be in the country either. “We’re going to be back around October and maybe all throughout the Christmas season,” Rhiza said.
Here are other things you need to know about Dinner in the Sky:
- Diners must be 14 years old and older with a minimum height of 145 cm and a maximum weight of 150 kg. Guests under the age of 18 must be with a parent or guardian who is at least 18 years old. The parent or guardian will need to sign their indemnity form. Wheelchair users and people with mild disabilities may experience Dinner in the Sky but organizers request that they are contacted before seats are purchased so their safety officer can make an evaluation.
- There will be lockers for your belongings.
- There is no restroom so yes, you should go for a wee break at Solaire before dinner starts.
- Don’t be late. Check into the Sky Lounge one hour before your session. Think of it as checking into a flight. The table will not wait for you, it will take off without you. If you are late, your booking is considered forfeited. There will be no refund.
- Celebrating a special occasion? You may choose add-ons like Solaire’s Chocolate Celebration Cake, wine, champagne and other treats when you make your booking.
- If you’re an event organizer, a corporation or just a really loaded individual, you can create your own Dinner in the Sky Experience. Email [email protected].