Air Dining: Lofty culinary adventure becomes Punjab’s latest getaway
Ludhiana has become the seventh city in India to offer air dining at a height of over 30 meters. A hosiery manufacturer introduced the concept, which includes a deck and 22 chairs lifted by a crane. The 50-minute experience offers a bird's eye view of the city and nearby canal, with a buffet dinner served by waiters. The deck slowly rotates five times for a 360-degree view. Prices range from INR1,000 to INR2,500 ($14 to $35) per ride, and the restaurant operates on weekends with bookings required in advance. Pregnant women and children under four feet tall are not allowed.
Kitty parties and dinner outings in the city of Ludhiana, well-known for its extravagance, have touched a new high, literally. Ludhiana has become the seventh city in the country and only one across Punjab, Haryana and the union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh to get an air dining at a height of 100 feet (over 30 meters).
The venture, started in the city by a hosiery manufacturer on Ludhiana’s upcoming South City suburb recently, is wooing people from across the state and beyond as the idea to dine at a height and get a bird’s eye view of the city and an adjacent canal has caught the fancy of many, including NRI’s who have been booking it for their families back home.
The concept, first started in Belgium, includes a deck with a huge dining table in the middle and 22 chairs that is lifted with a crane at a height of 100 feet and gives a unique aerial view of the city with the Sidhwan canal adding to the charm. It takes less than a minute for the crane to reach the height once the guests are strapped with seated with three sets of safety belts.
The dining table, where a buffet dinner is served by waiters, is suspended in the air for 50 minutes for the guests to enjoy the experience. That’s not all. The deck is slowly rotated five times so that one can take in a 360 degree view.
The restaurant operates full on weekends with booking being done in advance. On weekdays, however, it operates on the basis of demand. Recently, a video posted on Instagram showing a number of women enjoying a kitty party while air dining, joining hands and singing ‘Yaad karegi duniya tera mera afsana’ went viral. Simmi Wadhwa, one of the women at the kitty party in the video said they were surprised to know that such a facility has opened in Ludhiana.
“We had experienced this in Hong Kong and other countries. When we got to know that sky dining or air dining as it is called has opened in Ludhiana, we were the first ones to book our kitty party here and what a wonderful time we all 15 members had. The food was awesome and we have now decided to make it a regular affair to host kitty parties here,” she says.
Arvind Takkar, the owner of the franchise, says he was inspired to open the venture during his trip to Dubai sometime ago. “We knew the idea will be a hit as it is based on adventure and food. Even those who have a fear of heights have a memorable experience as there are three safety belts attached to the chairs.”
“We decided to bring such a facility to Ludhiana but then due to Covid outbreak the idea could not take off. Last year, we decided to give shape to this dream again and then began the work and formalities,” says Takkar adding that the German-made crane is on rent and consumes 15 to 20 litres of diesel with every trip.
Takkar says he is currently receiving orders from people around the state who have been coming from as far as Chandigarh apart from major cities in the state to experience this adventure dining.
“There are families who are making the booking for get-togethers on special occasions and there are group of friends who are making the plan to come and dine here. Recently, an 87-year-old woman from Patiala came with her son and daughter-in-law for dinner. She enjoyed to a great extent and was dancing in her chair while having her food with the sunset view at the rear. The couple’s son from Canada had made the booking for his parents and grandmother,” adds Takkar.
Different rides are reasonably priced between ₹1,000 to ₹2,500. A ‘joyride’ booked for 30 minutes from 4.30 pm to 5 pm costs ₹1,500 per person and offers snacks on the menu. The ‘sun downer’ from 5.15 to 6 pm and from 6.15pm to 7pm costs ₹2,200 and offers vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks, mocktail and a dessert. The dinner rides starting from 7.45pm cost around ₹2,500 per person and includes snacks, buffet and dessert. The menu is changed every ten days to bring in more variety.
Who all are not allowed
Pregnant women and children with less than height of four feet are not permitted on the deck. For safety reasons, alcohol is not allowed.