In a bid to add an adventurous flare to mainstream dining, restaurants nowadays are getting creative with their menus and décor. Fly Dining in Bangalore is aiming much higher than all the others, quite literally. It is the first restaurant in India where one can dine in the sky. Overlooking Nagawara Lake, the venue provides a picturesque view of the city, 160 feet above the ground.
Set up by Jumpking India, a Bengaluru-based adventure sports company, the two-month-old restaurant is already trending as one of the must-visit restaurants in the country. Its appeal is evidenced by the number of bookings it has been getting lately. And why not? It offers adventure and luxury dining rolled into one.
This uncommon dining concept is present in multiple countries around the world. Nivedika Gupta, CEO, and Pankaj Dhingra, Managing Director of Fly Dining, wanted to bring this to India and offer a unique experience to guests. In fact, fly dining is on the list of Forbes magazine’s world’s top 10 most unusual dining places and experiences.
On the idea behind opening such a restaurant, Nivedika Gupta, Fly Dining’s CEO, said, “We are very much interested in adventure. Once we saw a similar concept in a magazine and we wanted to bring this to India. From there our journey began towards Fly Dining. The adrenaline rush you get is something heavenly. Every human has a wish to fly and we are bringing an opportunity for you to dine at a height of 160ft.”
So how does the setup work? It accommodates 22 guests around the table and a staff of five-members—three chefs, one waiter and one safety inspector—who stay at the centre. The seats are fastened with three safety belts and there is a safety net at the bottom of the setup.
A crane holds up the deck and it takes five minutes for the deck to reach its full height and return to the ground. The thrill isn’t only about being suspended so high above the ground while eating a meal. Once the deck reaches its maximum height, it rotates 360 degrees. Customers who want to experience that extra rush can rotate their individual chairs around as well.
The owners have taken every measure to ensure safety of the guests. The entire system has been certified by TUV Rheinland. TUV is a German organisation which tests products for safety and provides certification. About getting certified by them, Pankaj Dhingra, Fly Dining’s MD, said “Getting certified from them is like reaching the pinnacle in safety. We have achieved it and we are sure about the safety of our customers dining high at our facility.”
Keeping safety issues in mind, Fly Dining has issued a certain set of criteria that guests have to fulfill. It includes minimum height as 4 feet, maximum weight as 150kg and a 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 to ground level in just a minute.
Coming to the food, the restaurant has a set menu and pre-prepared food is served during the four sessions organised every day, between 4:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. The combinations offered are mocktail sessions with complimentary snacks for half an hour, and the other is a dinner session with a five-course meal, which goes on for an hour. The cuisine served at Fly Dining is continental, including grilled chicken or sauteed vegetables with herb rice, croquettes and bruschetta. A fruit bowl is also available here.
It was quite challenging for the owners to go forth with such a project. Bringing the unfamiliar concept of fly dining to India brought along multiple tasks that took years to complete. Firstly, getting the equipment imported and building the setup. Next, getting certified, and then finding the perfect locations which provide amazing aerial views of the city the restaurant is located in.
Talking about this period of developing the concept and opening the restaurant, Gupta said, “Fly Dining was never an easy journey for us. We worked around five years to get this technology to India and we are still working on this to provide the best of the best experience. We are integrating new technologies into what we currently have, to provide an exhilarating experience to our customers.”
After successfully setting up Fly Dining in Bangalore, the restaurant is set to expand to multiple Indian cities—Mumbai, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Chennai, Surat, Goa and Pune. The work is already going on in these locations and we will have Fly Dining in eight cities of
The owners are overwhelmed with the response they’ve been getting since they opened the restaurant in Bangalore. “The response is better than what we expected. It has been great. There are people who book the entire table for their special moments with their loved ones for special occasions,” said Gupta.
Besides adventurous dining, Fly Dining offers opportunities to indulge in games, conferences, live entertainment etc. in the air. To avail this unusual and luxurious experience, one needs to shell out Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000 per person. But this out of-the-box experience with a beautiful view over Nagavara Lake makes it all worthwhile.