We know what you’re thinking, ‘What the heck is a ferris wheel dining experience’? Let us enlighten you. Every Sunday night for six months of the year, Luna Park transforms its ferris wheel into a fully functioning restaurant, complete with waiters, wine and a three-course dinner. It’s catered by the Deck restaurant, right next to the wheel. We had to check this out.
We arrive at 6pm, where upon we are welcomed into the Deck and given a glass of sparkling wine, as a young hip fella sings 1940s love songs. Aww. We are surrounded by couples. They all look to be on the verge of proposal (so many sweaty brows). We’re given a carriage number. And so we wait.
The carriage is very, very cute. Each cage houses a white-clothed table for two and a cushioned bench-seat on either side complete with blankets, in case one of you gets a chill. We are settled in with a choice of wines and share plate starters consisting of a couple of oysters, a slab of foie gras, King crab mousse and a mushroom tartlet topped with a quenelle of goat’s curd. Because everyone is loaded on in stages, the wheel moves around stopping and starting for a while, but once everyone is on, you’re off on a continuous loop.
And it’s delightful. The sun is slowly setting in the west, and you’re overlooking the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House beyond, and the 1930s elegance of North Sydney Olympic pool. And speaking of 1930s elegance, up here you can really appreciate what a truly beautiful fairground Luna Park actually is. Is there a prettier theme park in the world, situated in such spectacular surrounds? We doubt it.
The next course is duck Maryland with caramelised witlof for one and a nicely cooked piece of barramundi for the other. More wine, more turns on the wheel as the sky darkens and the lights go on in the now relatively deserted fairground. The skyline sparkles.
If you want off at any time (to use the bathroom, or to run through the deserted fairground in your underpants... Don’t do that) you have a tiny light on your table that lights up your roof. The staff will happily stop the wheel and allow you to do your thing.
Dessert comes next – a share plate of chocolate tart, semifreddo and orange cake along with a glass each of sweet Moscato. We recline further and enjoy the glow of the CBD, the Rocks and Barangaroo. Once we get off, around three hours after when we get on, we are welcomed into the Deck for coffee and petit fours. But we don’t want the views to end so we walk across the boardwalk instead.
It feels sort of old fashioned, eating on a ferris wheel. And actually, it’s properly romantic. A word of warning though: you get a lot of booze at this dinner, and with all the food, and the turning/churning of the wheel, it’s a recipe for nausea (car sickness peeps, beware). Our advice is to be canny with the wine – nobody wants vomit on their head when they’re proposing. Which you’re pretty much going to feel like doing when you’re eating on a ferris wheel, because no one likes to feel left out in a crowd, right?