They call it one of the most romantic things you can do in Singapore — and also a unique experience you can’t do anywhere else in Asia — Dining on Cloud 9 starts from the Mount Faber Cable Car Station and basically involves dining in the cable car on a three-course dinner, on the way to Sentosa.
At least that’s what I thought it was when I arrived. Already I had many questions. How do you eat fast enough? Is there enough time? Is there a bathroom? Will you get bored? Will the food be good? Can you get airsick? So many questions.
I also have to admit I had low expectations. It seemed a bit gimmicky. Also, the recommended time to start your dinner is 6pm — who can do that?! Of course when I got there (closer to 7pm), I had instant regret. The view is pretty impressive and is best enjoyed before sunset. By the time we started our ride, it was already getting dark. By the time we were done, it was totally dark (hence no photos, everything turned out fuzzy).
Basically how it works is that each course is one full-round of the cable car — that’s approximately half an hour. So your three-course dinner is actually one and a half hours. For anyone who’s ever wanted to go round-and-round on a cable car as a child, this is a great deal (and there’s alcohol!).
But what if you have to go to the bathroom? Well, it’s best to go before (and a visit to the Mount Faber bathrooms is a good trip on its own). Otherwise there’s basically no chance you’d make it back into your car on time.
The table was already set when our cable car came around, complete with special cushioned benches, and also a speaker-cum-light (which came in very useful once it got dark). The first course, a seafood bisque, was already on the table along with our welcome champagne drink and water. You can watch the nimble staff prepare this all from the Mount Faber departure area before you board.
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Serving up this three-course meal takes some real skill. Once you come back for your mains, the staff basically have one minute, maybe two, to clear your plates, put down the next course, top up your water (and wine!) and send you on your merry way. The same for the third course, which is dessert and includes a hot tea. It’s like going for a theatre dining show.
Overall, it was pretty impressive to watch them clear the dishes and replace them. Everyone was extremely friendly and very conscious that this was a “date”. And also very efficient. Every time I thought the doors were going to close and we’d miss out on a dish (or a water top up), they proved me otherwise.
Also the food was good! I wasn’t expecting much but the bisque was very tasty and the mains we pre-booked (steak and fish) were well-cooked and delicious. I found that for each “ride”, you’d pretty much finish your dish on the way to Sentosa, which left the way back to enjoy the scenery.
Finally the scenery. You might think the whole thing is gimmicky to start, but once you actually get on your way, you can’t deny that it’s pretty special, watching the view into Sentosa (if you look down you can see the dolphins at the Aquarium). And this is why it’s good to go at 6pm. The change from day to dusk changes the scenery, and then again from dusk to dark, when all the lights come up, is another change as well. It’s beautiful and worth the $288++ fee if you think about how one cable car ride is about $30 (this is three) and a meal like this would be at least $100 per person including wine at a restaurant.
Dining on Cloud 9 costs $288 per couple and includes a welcome drink, apetizer, main, dessert and coffee or tea. The ride lasts approximately 90 minutes. For more information, visit their site here.