The red wine being served at the VIP Lounge of Solaire Resort and Casino relaxes the nerves. It’s a cool way to relieve anxiety while waiting for our turn to take a seat at the table that will be lifted 150 feet up for Dinner in the Sky (DITS)—the Belgium-based dining concept that has been well-received in more than 45 cities worldwide and is now in Manila.
Walking towards the platform of the table and seats parked at Solaire’s Esplanade grounds, we are met by Angelo Pascua, who, along with his wife, Rhiza Ortiz-Pascua, and their business partners Brian Corvers and Tommy Lee, brought DITS to the Philippines. MMI Live—Rhiza’s concert promotion company—organized everything with DITS Asia.
When Angelo points out that the DITS seats are like those of top automotive seat brand Recaro, we imagine this will really be an exhilarating but safe and comfortable experience. “Don’t look down, and you’ll be all right,” Rhiza tell us.
As an assistant straps on our seat belts, the rest of the 21 other diners smile at each other and wait for takeoff.
Bruno Mars music
It’s a slow, steady lift, until the crane’s harness pulling us up stops at a height equivalent to the 10th floor of Solaire.
When the wind blows, the platform thankfully doesn’t swing, but rotates slowly.
Hylton Le Roux, chef of Waterside, Solaire’s Latin dining outlet, has prepared the four-course menu, which he says is composed of dishes enhanced with spices.
The music of Bruno Mars adds energy and excitement as we savor the Tuna Tiradito—a kinilaw type of appetizer with cassava crunch.
As the evening wears on, however, the songs get a bit corny, especially when “YMCA” blares out.Everyone gets busy with their mobile phones cameras, taking selfies and snapshots of the food.
We are tempted to take a peek down because our companion, Inquirer photographer Edwin Bacasmas, says the people on the ground look so small.
We concentrate instead on what will be served next.The second course, Anticuchos de Pollo or chicken glazed in tamarind habanero, awakens our tastebuds. “Sana may wine pa,” Edwin jokes.
Alas, our meal, worth P9,990 each, includes only mango juice. But the main course—a choice between Mexican Adobo Spice Atlantic Salmon and Cuban-Style Slow-Cooked Pork Belly (we picked the latter)—is worth the trip, the meat’s softness and flavor triggering a cerebral high.
And yet the real sweet highlight is the dessert of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Dome with Praline and Chocolate Texture.
Dinner in the Sky at Solaire will also feature meat and vegetarian dishes from Finestra by Chef Marchetti, Yakumi by Norimasa Kosaka, Chef Kenneth Cacho of the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Managment, and Michelin-star Chef Yves Mattagne of Sea Grill in Brussels, Belgium.