Written by: Javier Montes De Oca
In an age where there’s been so much flavour experimentation, the most demanding customers need innovative adventures. It can’t only be about flavour and smell experiences anymore. Nowadays it’s necessary to estimulate sight, hearing and mind.
This is, undoubtfully what these select restaurants achieve. Come and stroll through Asia and Europe, even though this list could be extended to all five continents, in gastronomic establishments that won’t leave anyone indifferent.
1.- SUBLIMOTION / IBIZA
The most expensive restaurant in the world.
Spanish chef and two times winner of a Michelin star, Paco Roncero has inaugurated this summer in the balearic island his “gastronomic show”, as he defines it. The experience is also the most expensive one in the world if we’re talking about catering (each meal is 1500€ + IVA), and it consists in a single table for 12 people, where a theatrical and tecnological display aims to estimulate all senses. Through a sophisticated audiovisual montage, Sublimotion’s vanguardist gastronomy blends with a the diverse variations of chromatic environments and heat and humidity controls will transport you from the North Pole to Versailles.
2.- HET ARRESTHUIS / HOLANDA
The dangerous “Court House” turned into a luxury hotel.
An old prison in the Dutch town of Roermond, active from 1863 to 2007, that held the most dangerous criminals from the Netherlands, has been completely restored and turned into a 5 star hotel, restaurant, meeting facilities, terraces and even a gym. In its restaurant, the Damianz, the chef Raoul Bijlmakers will have a surprising menu with seasonal produce ready. It opened on 2011 under the hotel chain Van der Valk, and you are required to book in advance to be able to stay in one of its 36 luxury suites and taste their refined meals.
3.- ITHAA UNDERSEA RESTAURANT / ISLAS MALDIVAS.
Eating amongst fish, coral and seaweed.
Trying succulent shellfish must not be a novelty to anyone; but doing so in their own element, 5 meters under the sea, in the paradisiac location of the Rangalifinolhu in the Indic Ocean, has no contendant. We are talking about the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, from the Hilton hotel chain. The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, that means “pearl” in maldive language, is made of acrylic glass and turns all 14 diners into a “human fishbowl” with a 270º view of the marine environment. The price of each dish is inbetween 120 and 150€.
4.- H.R. GIGER MUSEUM BAR / GRUYÈRES.
Enjoy food alongside the biomechanics genius.
If you’re wandering through the swiss city of Gruyères, you have to know that you can enjoy something more than good cheese there. The bar placed in H. R. Gigers museum will not leave you indifferent. Designed following his biomechanical aesthetic, eating in there feels exactly like you were in the Nostromo ship of the Alien film saga. It opened in 2003 and was completely designed by Giger himself. The ceiling, for instance, is made of a cavernous and skeletal structure with a double arch of vertebrae that goes through the antique castle’s ceiling. If you are a fan of Giger’s work or if you simply want to hang out in this gloomy restaurant, it’s a great option to live an unforgettable experience.
5.- DANS LE NOIR / PARIS. BARCELONA. LONDON. SAINT PETERSBURG.
Enhance each one of your senses.
With the purpose to demonstrate how visually impaired people can work in the catering industry, Edouard de Broglie opened in Paris in 2004 the first restaurant where it is mandatory to eat completely blinded. When you get to the entrance, a staff member puts a bandage in your eyes and leads you to a completely dark room. In the Dans le Noir chain, now available in many european cities, they aim that, through the lack of light, your gastronimoc experience is enhanced and completed, heightening your other senses and rediscovering the true essence of flavor.
6.- SONEVA KIRI / TAILANDIA.
A sublime view from the top.
In the beautiful rainforest of Koh Wood island you can find Soneva Kiri Eco Resort, a beautiful hotel complex with bay views. Nevertheless, the most characteristic commodity of this establishment is the possibility of eating over 5 meters high in the treetops. These giant “bird nests”, made with wood and wicker, on top of carefully selected trees to offer powerful views towards the ocean and the jungle. The price for two people is around 500 euros, and guarantees you will be attended by expert waiters suspended in security harnesses.
7.- SOLO PER DUE / VACONE.
A small table and a poem by Horatio.
In this lovely mountain hamlet of less than 300 inhabitants placed inbetween Rome and Florence, we can find one single table for two diners. It is said that the walls that surround the restaurant were part of a roman villa belonging to the latin poet Horatio. Similarly, after the dinner you can visit the Bandusia fountain, to which the renouned poet had dedicated one one of his creations. The romatinc adventure will cost 250€ per guest, but it ensures you won’t be bothered, except for when you make a little silver bell ring.