There’s Something Wrong With You If Spend $569 To Eat at “Dinner In the Sky”

Wait...does this mean we're finally a world-class city?

July 9, 2018

By Neal McLennan

There’s a well worn dining-out adage that the better the view, the worse the food, and having been in Vancouver for the past two decades, it’s not entirely wrong. The Top of Vancouver Restaurant in Sinclair Centre is tragically bad (and crazy expensive, like $35-for-Spaghetti-Bolognese crazy).

So what then to make of Dinner in the Sky? It’s a “unique and breathtaking dining experience will showcase Vancouver’s spectacular ocean, mountain and city vistas while being elevated 100 feet off the ground.” (or maybe it’s 130 feet or 150 feet). And it’s only $569 for the VIP Experience.  And for that you get:

  1. A complimentary glass of sparkling wine in the ground-level lounge (which I assume means that for $569, they’re not even offering actual Champagne);
  2. “Priority boarding and VIP seating” (which is important when there’s a grand total of 22 seats in the “restaurant”);
  3. “Three-course special Dinner in the Sky meal, enjoyed with one complimentary glass of wine or sparkling wine” (so we’re up to two drinks if you’re counting. For $569.)

To be fair, you don’t have to spend the full $569. If you’re able to resist that first glass of sparkling wine and boarding in the equivalent of Zone 4, then it’s only “from” $399. And brunch is only “from” $299. Plus Chef Ned Bell is helming the kitchen, so this isn’t the equivalent of a deluxe meal on Air Transat as he’s a catch. And the reviews on Yelp an Trip Advisor are honestly gushing, like this five-star gentlemen:

They start you off with canapés while waiting to get on. You can also order drinks at the bar and socialize in a mini lounge. The staff were very engaging especially the bartender – it was a cute small girl who was very bubbly and kept conversation. I’m sorry I didn’t get your name. Before you get in your seats, they encourage you to use the washroom as you are up in the air for about an hour. The seating arrangements depend on how many people are in your party. The seat also reclines pretty far for those who are adventurous. I went with my significant other and luckily got the corner seats.

Full disclosure—I haven’t actually been to Dinner in the Sky, so I have no idea what it’s like. Also I don’t hit on bartenders when I’m out on a date with my significant other. But, in an age where there are people putting their heart and soul into local restaurants while trying to manage a chronic labour shortage and absurdly high rents, dropping $1,140 on dinner for two where you get a choice of Seafood, Vegetarian or Beef seems daft. For the same price, you could go to Torafuku for every Friday in August and order every single item on the menu. You could go to Mak N Ming and order the seven-course tasting menu and invite seven friends…and then you could take all seven friends to brunch the next morning. And the next. You could even go to Ned Bell’s old stomping grounds at Yew and order the lobster and crab boil and bring a dozen friends and have three glasses of Pol Roger “Champagne” while you wait for them to arrive. Heck, you could sneak 4 bottles of Krug into the Playland and drink them in between endless trips on the Atmosphere (which is 208 ft btw).

Obviously, people should free to spend their own money however they want and I don’t think I’m the target audience: I’m cheap, I’m a food snob and I like Champagne. But if you really want to live in a world-class city, don’t you want to save up for…a Monorail?

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