Christmas sleigh restaurant rides into tropical Malaysia

A Santa Claus mannequin is placed on a couch in a hanging restaurant suspended by a crane overlooking the skyline of Kuala Lumpur inspired by Santa travelling on a sleigh with reindeers for a Christmas season promotion. — AFP pic
A Santa Claus mannequin is placed on a couch in a hanging restaurant suspended by a crane overlooking the skyline of Kuala Lumpur inspired by Santa travelling on a sleigh with reindeers for a Christmas season promotion. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Jingling amid a Kuala Lumpur skyline, nearly a dozen people sit in a hanging sleigh-like restaurant as it is raised by a crane some 45 metres above the street below.

Strapped into rollercoaster-like seats, the Santa in the Sky patrons dine next to prancing reindeer models and a mannequin of jolly St Nicholas far above the city’s busy traffic.

“We have all of our guests having their dinner in the sky (up) 45 metres on Santa’s sleigh,” restaurant manager Gurjit Singh told AFP.

“We have the whole Christmas mood going on, Christmas carols... and warm food.”

The Christmas-themed eatery is a holiday edition of the Belgian-based novelty restaurant, which has lifted dinner guests in over 40 countries around the world.

Malaysia, a tropical country which rarely sees temperatures dip below 24 degrees Celsius, is also the second country after Belgium to host the Yuletide concept. 

As a team of chefs and safety officers serve dinner to up to 16 guests up top, a small team down below pulls on cables attached to the platform, turning it slowly for patrons to take in the urban skyline.

“When the table is up, we need to get great pictures of KLCC,” Singh said, referring to the Petronas Twin Towers skyscrapers. 

“We have the table turning around 180 degrees both ways.”

The restaurant’s dinner menu is priced upwards of RM499, with a Christmas-period seating available until December 31.

While more than half of the South-east Asian nation’s 32 million people are Muslim, Christmas is celebrated by the large Christian minority. — AFP

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