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Monday, January 24, 2011

Haute Cuisine... World's highest restaurant opens at 1,350 feet.


Now this is what you call 'haute cuisine': World's highest restaurant opens in Dubai a dizzying 1,350ft from the ground

By OLIVER PICKUP
Last updated at 3:51 PM on 24th January 2011
  • At.mosphere is on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building
  • The most expensive item on the menu is a £100 Maine lobster
  • It takes a minute in the elevator to reach the restaurant
The French are renowned for their haute cuisine, which literally means 'high cooking', but in Dubai developers have taken it to another level.
The world's highest restaurant opened its doors yesterday... and it's a dizzying 1,350 feet (422 metres) from the ground - not ideal for vertigo sufferers.
At.mosphere, as it has been named, can be found - via a minute-long elevator ride in a private chrome and glass lift - on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Two floors below the observation deck and furnished with mahogany-panelled rooms and cosy leather booths, the neck-craning restaurant is breath-taking in more than one sense.
Dizzying: At.mosphere, on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is the world's highest restaurant
Dizzying: At.mosphere, on the 122nd floor of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is the world's highest restaurant
At.mosphere can serve more than 200 covers at any one time, and those looking for fine dining will not be disappointed as a number of top-drawer chefs have prepared a raft of mouth-watering dishes.
A sumptuous variety of food from all over the world can be found on the menu (in English then Arabic), with sea food and grilled meat being the staple offerings.
For starters, you may wish to begin your meal with chestnut and pheasant soup, 'diver's' scallops, or Angus and Wagyu beef tatare.

View from the fridge: At 442 metres At.mosphere is aptly named and this is what you will see while munching on your food or sipping on your tea
View from the fridge: At 442 metres At.mosphere is aptly named and this is what you will see while munching on your food or sipping on your tea

And for a main course, there is roasted Brittany wild sea bass and Australian free range Salt Bush lamb, for example.
There is also a grill menu, where the star attractions are the Maine lobster (at 590 United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), or £100, the most expensive dish on offer) and the Japanese Kobe beef fillet (AED440).
Unsurprisingly there is a fine selection of world wines, aperitifs, ports and whiskeys to accompany your meal. 
According to the Emaar Hospitality Group, the property developers who created the restaurant and spent almost £1billion building the Burj Khalifa (named after United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan who came to the aid of Dubai when the finicial crisis took hold), At.mosphere offers 'one of the finest luxury dining and lounge experiences in the world, with unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf'.
Tasty: A sample of the menu shows that the dishes offered come from all over the globe (prices in United Arab Emirates Dirham)
Tasty: A sample of the menu shows that the dishes offered come from all over the globe (prices in United Arab Emirates Dirham)
It can cater for 'over 210 guests and features a spacious arrival lobby, a main dining floor, private dining rooms and display cooking stations'.
According to the At.Mosphere website, which is not complete (menus and prices are not yet available) and can be found here, 'guests could choose to dine at the grill or unwind at the lounge overlooking stunning vistas of the world's tallest performing fountains.
The blurb continues: 'Whether you're a connoisseur of fine dining or simply wish to unwind and relax, At.Mosphere promises you an experience like none other.'
The restaurant's American designer, Adam Tihany, said: 'Up here, you feel elegant and luxurious, you feel sexy.
'You are floating - it's a journey. This is your luxury yacht in the sky.
'I came up yesterday five times and after five times, you feel a bit dizzy. You only want to come up twice.'

Elegant: Another photograph shows the dining area, which can seat about 200 people at any one time
Elegant: Another photograph shows the dining area, which can seat about 200 people at any one time

UNIQUE RESTAURANTS

- At the Kayabukiya Tavern in Utsunomiya, Japan, you will be served  by monkeys
Hajime in Bangkok, Thailand, has robots for waiters
- The Dutch capital, Amsterdam, is where you will find Kinderkookkaf√©, where the staff are children
Cafe Therapy in Prague, the Czech Republic, is a restaurant that assists people to over come drug or alcohol addiction
Dinner in the Sky, which is owned by a Belgium-based company and travels all the world, is a dining table suspended in the air
Away from the restaurant there is the lounge, which can seat 135 people and has a private area for 35 people, where you can unwind with light dishes and afternoon tea. 
As day turns into night the tempo is dialled up and the lounge becomes a vibrant, trendy bar with tunes spun by the resident DJ until 2am.
And the cost for this amazing dining experience? For lunch the minimum spend per person is AED300 (£51), for dinner it is AED450 (£77) and a private room (for at least eight people) will set you back AED650 (£111) a head.
To chill out in the lounge you will need to splash out at least AED200 (£34) and, as reservations agent Charl Vermaak told the Daily Mail online: 'if the total spend per person is less than the required amount, an additional amount will be billed to reach the required minimum spend.'
The cost will be too much for most locals, but the hope is that Dubai's economy will improve and the restaurant will attract business men and women from around the globe and encourage them to re-invest in the emirate state.
Dubai's six-year boom, which fuelled construction of the world's tallest building and artificial island archipelagos, shuddered to a halt in 2008 after the global financial crisis.
Millions of pounds of construction projects were written off or shelved and Dubai is struggling to dig out from under a massive debt burden, estimated at more than £80billion.
Emaar Hospitality say the restaurant opening at these soaring heights is a sign that the low point of Dubai's recession is ending.
'I think really the hospitality business has picked up quite nicely,' said Emaar Hospitality chief executive Marc Dardenne. 
'Dubai is still a very attractive destination, with world class hotels and world class restaurants available.'
Designer Mr Tihany added, in a similar vein: 'The top of the crown jewel has to be beautiful. The economy will follow suit, hopefully.'
Tallest: The Burj Khalifa opened in January 4, 2010 and took six years to build. It stands at 828m (2,717ft)
Tallest: The Burj Khalifa opened in January 4, 2010 and took six years to build. It stands at 828m (2,717ft)


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350050/Dubai-opens-worlds-highest-restaurant-1-350ft-ground.html#ixzz1Bzh0ff2n

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