We’re on to our next “Guinness” talk. We are, after all, always curious about man’s unsurpassed pursuits and endeavors, right? It’s part of man’s nature to know who are the unbeatable and the invincible. (That’s precisely the reason why the very first Guinness book came about –an executive who manages a brewery named Guinness often argues with his friends about the fastest and the strongest things, and realized that there ought to be a book that would supply answers to this kind of questions.)
There was news last month which involved words I often watch out for these days – restaurants and “the highest,” the tallest,” “the most expensive,” etc.: Guinness World Records awarded a restaurant in Dubai as the “highest restaurant from ground level.” Not such a great title, I know, but let’s try to take a closer look at this.
The award was given to At.mosphere, a restaurant located at the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building itself is 2,723 ft. high with 211 levels – 163 habitable floors, 2 basement parking levels and 46 maintenance levels in the spire. At.mosphere, which features an exciting, vibrant lounge and a sumptuous, delectable grill, is at the 122nd level of the building, 1,350 ft. above ground level.
The entrance to the restaurant is at the lobby of Burj Khalifa’s Corporate Suites, where guests have to take the elevator to Level 123 and take another flight of stairs going down to the 122nd. The effort is said to be worth the energy, though, as the guests are sure to be enthralled with the spectacular panoramic view of the city.
The upscale, posh lounge can seat 130 diners and has a private area for 35 guests.
Dinner in the Sky
This brings to mind another famous sky-high dining innovation, Belgium’s Dinner in the Sky . Some people think it’s a joke, others think it’s kind of stupid, but well, yes, it’s really quite brilliant. Dinner in the Sky involves a crane, a considerably huge table which seats some twenty people, waiters moving around in their posh uniforms, sometimes in elegant personalized aprons, delectable food on the table and diners eating and being served while being suspended 150 ft into the air.
Over the years, the concept, which Forbes magazine called “one of the world’s ten most unusual restaurants,” has been used throughout Europe and America—at special events in Brussels, Paris and Las Vegas, among others. Although basically based in Belgium, its mobile services are available in 15 nations now, and can be chartered for eight hours for about $20,000 or so, catering not included.
Prestigious chefs who have cooked for elite guests aboard the crane include:
Chefs from France: Yannick Alleno, Fredreric Anton, Patrick Bertron, Georges Blanc, Pascal Favre D’anne, Regis Ferrey, Denis Fetisson, Pierre Gagnaire, Joel Garault, Christian Garcia, Guillaume Gomez, Philippe Joannes, Cyril Lignac, Guy Martin, Alain Passard, Marcel Ravin, Jerome Rigaud, Joel Robuchon, Michel Roth, Christian Sinicropi, Bernard Vaussion and Marc Veyrat
Chefs from Canada: Kevin Doucette, Mark McEwan and Anthony Cedlak
Chefs from Spain: Dani Garcia and Paco Roncero
Chefs from the U.S.: Hung Huynh and Francois Ternes
Chefs from Belgium: Quentin Jadoul and Yves Mattagne
From others countries: Brazil – Fred Frank
Holland – Sergio Herman
Hungary – Bela Orban
Poland – Miroslaw Jablonski
Australia – Peter Miller
Bulgaria – Birislav Paunov
Czech Republic – Zdenek Pohlreich
Finland – Harri Syrjanen
Lebanon – Sylvain Arthus
Guests can, of course, choose whether they want a dinner, breakfast or lunch; a meeting, a wedding or a show in the sky. The size of the platform is 9 meters long and 5 meters in width. Tables weigh 5 tons when empty and as much as 7 tons when full. Toilet facilities? It’s just like any other restaurant where you ask the waiter in personalized aprons where the toilet is, only just a bit less discrete… the crane and the whole table goes down.