It seems that the state tourism department has failed to get its facts right.
On Wednesday, tourism minister Chhagan Bhujbal inaugurated a luxury vessel at Bandra and claimed it to be the city's first floating restaurant. However, food lovers have called MTDC's bluff saying that the first such restaurant was opened at Girgaum chowpatty by Drishti Adventures Sports Pvt Ltd. in 2001. Named Suzie Wong, the floating bar and restaurant was run by actor Sunil Shetty. Suzie Wong was closed in 2004 with the expiry of its licence. According to connoisseurs of good food and night lovers, the 70-seater, two-tier floating restaurant was a craze among its patrons as it offered a great view of the Marine Drive.
"Suzie Wong was a great success. Our many endeavours to bring a larger vessel hit a wall put up by the Mumbai Port Trust," said Manoj Ajiwal, director of Drishti Adventures Sports Pvt Ltd.
Bhujbal inaugurated the floating restaurant, to be based at the Maharashtra Maritime Board jetty near the iconic Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The 3-tier luxury floating restaurant has a sky deck and 2 galleys, which will have two multi-cuisine restaurants including a club lounge and a 24-hour coffee shop. The restaurant can accommodate 660 guests at a time. The services will be opened for public by August.
MTDC insiders informed that some work is still needed to be done around the jetty where the vessel will be docked as the approach to the restaurant is still kachha.