Last year in November, India got its first “fly dining” restaurant in Bangalore. At Fly Dining, Bangalore, guests can relish their meals on an elevated platform, more than a hundred feet above the ground. The same elevating experience is now available for diners in the NCR.
Fly Dining opened its NCR branch earlier this month at Noida’s Gardens Galleria Mall. At mealtime, guests are buckled up on the open deck of the restaurant, which is lifted to a height of 160 feet by a crane. Then, dinner is served.
Pankaj Dhingra, Managing Director of Fly Dining Bangalore, was impressed as well as frustrated by the months-long waiting lists at multiple fly-dining restaurants around the world. This is what made him bring this concept to India.
Nikhil Kumar, Fly Dining Noida’s managing director, first encountered this concept in Dubai. He said, “I went to a fly-dining restaurant in Dubai and it got stuck in my head. I wanted to do something similar. So I contacted Pankaj Dhingra and got all the information I needed to go ahead with the project. I knew this concept would be a huge hit.”
Since the entire setup has to be lifted by a crane to a height of 160ft, safety is of the utmost priority for the owners and managers. The whole setup for the Noida facility was provided by the Bengaluru-based adventure sports company, Jumpking India. The equipment was designed and put in place by them after years of research, approvals, simulations and safety checks on several levels. The entire mechanism follows the safety standards approved by German engineers and safety experts.
It took six months for Nikhil Kumar to bring Fly Dining to Noida. The setup accommodates 24 guests around the table, with three chefs and a photographer standing in the middle. While the guests are fastened by three safety seatbelts, the chef and crew have safety harnesses and are allowed to move around.
The deck takes 2-3 minutes to reach its maximum height and the descent also takes similar time. Once at its full height, the deck rotates 360 degrees offering a picturesque view of the surroundings. This aerial view of Noida has lush greenery on the one side and high-rise buildings on the other. Guests can also rotate their chairs 90 degrees left or right for an added sense of adventure.
A pre-prepared continental menu is served at the restaurant. Four sessions are organised every day, with the first one at six in the evening and the last at 10 p.m. The deck stays in the air for 40 minutes, where guests can enjoy mocktails, starters, main course and desserts.
For the time being, only vegetarian food is served at Fly Dining Noida, in order to avoid confusion among the guests. Also, the owners didn’t want vegetarians to feel uncomfortable. Nimit Agarwal, partner at Fly Dining Noida, said, “We didn’t want guests to get overwhelmed with the food. We wanted them to focus on the adventure aspect. So we asked the chefs to curate small and delicious portions.”
Complimentary photography is offered at the restaurant. Varun Tyagi, the photographer who has been roped in to capture these sessions, said about his experience, “It’s extremely fun, but can be scary initially. But capturing the expressions of the faces of our elated guests is a huge satisfaction. People come here to celebrate special occasions and enjoy so much. That makes me happy.”
There is also a set of criteria that guests have to fulfil to dine at this restaurant. The minimum height should be 4 feet, maximum weight 150kg and the minimum age of 12 years. Pregnant women and heart patients are advised not to come aboard. In case of an emergency, the entire setup can be brought down within two minutes and medical facilities are also available nearby.
A guest at the restaurant said about his experience, “I don’t feel like I am in India. This is awesome. Everyone must experience this at least once in their lifetime.”
To avail this uncommon dining experience, each guest has to pay Rs 2,999 on weekdays and Rs 3,999 on weekends. But the package of adventure and fine-dining 50 metres above the ground makes it all worthwhile.