Mumbai finally has its largest dining rooms on the sea! India’s financial capital witnessed the unveiling of its largest ever floating restaurants Queensline Neverland and Sea Yah, giving diners the enviable experience of having a sumptuous meal in the middle of the Arabian Ocean while catching on the city’s iconic skyline. The restaurants are owned by Delhi-based entrepreneurs and husband-wife duo Mridul Thirani and Shripriya Dalmia Thirani.
The restaurants on board two large ships - Queensline Neverland and Queensline Sea YAH – are parked a few miles into the sea of Mumbai’s iconic Gateway of India. Each ship can accommodate 450 diners at any time.
The restaurants at Neverland and Sea Yah are multi-cuisine and have the international flavours in their food items. The ships will cruise across Mumbai’s shoreline, giving diners an unparallel experience of seeing India’s majestic city at sunset.
Speaking about the launch, Shripriya says “The wait is over. This is our gift to Mumbai. People in this city love to work hard and party hard. We wanted them to have a brand new place to relax and what better than the middle of the sea, looking at the shoreline – the imposing skyscrapers creating a perfect silhouette against a setting sun. The food will be the best of global flavours. Indians don’t have to travel abroad for such flavours anymore.”
Shripriya is the granddaughter of Jai Dayal Dalmia, the co-founder of Dalmiya Cement and OCL India. She also has Nanu Productions in 2012. According to Shripriya, “The ships will be open 24X7. We are putting in place all the required permissions so that people can stay all the time and enjoy the spectacular views and the sumptuous food. Overnight staying as in sleeping will not be allowed as per the tender and hence no rooms are available. From on deck barbeques to star gazing through powerful telescopes, LED screen/projectors to watch movies/ sport while lazing on the deck to art on the ship – everything will be available”.
The ships for Neverland and Sea Yah have been bought from Turkey. Shripriya says, “Imagine a classic Turkish vessel standing majestically off the coast near Gateway of India. Adding to the historic view and a delectable feast, this vessel will have an international feel to it from the outside and have the warmth of an Indian embrace from the inside. A meal ceases to be just a meal then. What it ends up becoming is a feast for all our senses”.
The ships will certainly be the attraction for the visitors as they had hosted several royalties and dignitaries in the past. It is believed that Queen Elizabeth, the monarch of the United Kingdom, has also graced her presence on board.
Mridul Thirani and Shripriya Dalmia Thirani plan to make the ships the fairy-tale wedding destinations. “Water is a very auspicious space and perfect for Indian weddings. Many Indian families you will see now are travelling to seaside destinations for their weddings. Now they don’t have to travel too far. I have brought that fairy tale to their doors now. The two ships can be a perfect host – may be one for the bride’s side and the other for the groom’s”.
“Mumbai’s coastline with the impressive cityscape can give a lot of global seaside cities a run for its money. I am certain that once the restaurant begins to operate, lots of new businesses will come up around the sea. Dining on the water will then become a must do for everyone just like it is for tourists who go to Monte Carlo or the French Riviera. The demand for tables is already shooting through the roof,” according to Shripriya who is a mother of three, an alumnus from The Indian Institute of Learning and Management which is affiliated to the University of Bradford and an MBA from Symbiosis Pune.
It was the idea of senior minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet Nitin Gadkari – he had inaugurated the floatels in Mumbai - to open up Mumbai’s Eastern Seafront and turn them into a Riviera similar to that in the Mediterranean or Western countries.