STRAPPED into a leather racing seat at a restaurant table hovering 50 metres above Marbella, I was poised to try the craziest take on ‘haute cuisine’ ever.
Combining fine dining with aerial thrills, La Sala in the Sky has taken eating out to a whole new level. And with the soccer star-owned restaurant group backing it, I was expecting a lot more than ‘high tea’.
With views across Puerto Banus to the sparkling Med in one direction and iconic La Concha mountain in the other, they’ve certainly scored with their high table dining concept, where even the air tastes like wine.
As I made my way past Banus bullring to the crane that would winch me skyward to the dining world’s new 50-metre high club, the sight of the 22-seater restaurant pod swaying above me made my stomach somersault like a chef flipping a burger.
But after one glass of wine and a reassuring pep talk from Luke, my waiter and host for the evening, I was raring to try this new foodie flight of fantasy.
Although I’d have to wait on a little longer for the first sitting to finish. Marbella Mayor Jose Bernal and his entourage were still up there, having arrived ‘fashionably late’ .
In fact, the delay was a blessing in disguise as we were able to watch a fabulous sunset turn day into starry night day while we were airborne.
But as all 22 diners buckled up, a cry of ‘get me off, I suddenly have somewhere to be’ came from across the table.
I won’t spare his blushes: it was OP columnist Giles Brown, who looked a hugely relieved man to be out of his ‘hot seat’. Conquering his vertigo will have to wait for another day.
With a replacement found to take his abdicated ‘high chair’ and a round of chanting ‘Up, up, up, up!’ the crane swung into action, and we all relaxed as we watched Marbella retreat to toy town dimensions from the best seats in the house.
The food – show cooking at its best – was another spectacular highlight: a five-course dinner prepared by famed local chef Aitor Perurena in front of diners.
First ‘up’ was a bloody mary foam with avocado with fresh cockles. The nerve-soothing glass of Marques de Riscal white served with it also worked wonders, even going to the heads of those who don’t normally have one for heights.
One or two seagulls were eying up the possibilities of hijacking free feast on the wing as we were presented with an enormous cardinal prawn topping a tempting spider crab cannelloni.
Then came the piece de resistance: teriyaki-lacquered beef with celery and asparagus, tender enough to cut with a spoon, served with a delicious Yilera red wine.
And lemon mousse in the shape of a white Magnum ice cream was not the finale. After a glass of La Sala’s premier rosa cava to toast the chef and his worthy team, I was beginning to feel giddy and we hadn’t even started the descent.
But all too soon we were back down to earth, wondering whether dining out could ever reach such heights of perfection again.
The dining experience lasts 70 minutes and introductory offers start at €99p+IVA.
To reserve your ‘food flight’ visit www.lasalainthesky.com or call 952 781 522