Musement takes a look at ten of the world’s most unconventional restaurants.
Looking to step out of the box–or perhaps even descend underwater–and savor a meal in an unconventional backdrop? From a seaside cave to skyscraper landscaping to dining in the dark, here are ten unconventional restaurants around the world where you can enjoy an unusual, though memorable, dining experience.
1. Ithaa Undersea, Maldives
Located sixteen feet below sea level in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Ithaa Undersea is the world’s first underwater restaurant to offer a view of the reefs and their marine species. Lucky (and wealthy) guests can enjoy delicate Maldives local dishes on the edge of the coral reef in the company of manta rays and barracudas.
2. Modern Toilet, Taipei
If you have a strong stomach and a sense of humor visit Modern Toilet when you’re in Taipei. Guests seat themselves on toilet bowls at a bathtub table where they savor meals served in bizarrely shaped dishes in the form of urinals, toilets, bidets, etc.
3. Darwin Brasserie, London
In the heart of London stands the Walkie-Tower, a skyscraper with the city’s highest public garden, which offers a 360° view of the city. The SkyGarden, a superbly landscaped verdant oasis, sits on the top three floors where you’ll find two restaurants. The 36th story is home to the Darwin Brasserie while Fenchurch, the fancier of the two, is located on the 37th. If you want to visit one, we recommend dressing appropriately for the occasion.
4. Zauo, Tokyo
At this Tokyo sushi restaurant, it is impossible to doubt the freshness of the fish… because it is up to you to fish them! A large boat stands in the center of the restaurant surrounded by pools where catfish–your future meal!–swim. When you make your reservation, ask to have your table there. Armed with a fishing rod and bait, it’s time to capture your meal. Let’s face it, fishing is an activity that requires a lot of patience, so don’t go when your stomach is in your heels.
5.La Grotta Palazzese, Polignano a Mare
At first thought, eating in a cave does not seem very glamorous. However, the most romantic restaurant in Puglia–perhaps even in Italy or even in Europe–sits inside a cave…but not just any cave! It is located at the water’s edge in the hollow of a limestone cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea. A candlelit meal to the soundtrack of rattling water is certainly romantic, yes?
6. Labasin Waterfalls, Philippines
Always by the water–more precisely (but much less romantic!) with its feet in the water, Labasin Waterfalls is breathtaking. This magnificent setting in the middle of a tropical forest sits at the foot of a waterfall and is outfitted with on bamboo tables. Typical and local dishes are brought on carts pulled by buffaloes.
7. Dinner in the Sky, Dubai
Dine in the clouds… or rather a blue sky since you are in Dubai! This restaurant in the air, which sits at 164-feet above the Dubai Marina, consists of a single table suspended by a crane. If you are afraid of heights, this isn’t the place for you! This same concept operates in various cities around the world, including Brussels.
8. O.Noir, Montreal
In the Instagram era, a dish must be beautiful before it is good because “we eat with our eyes too”, O.Noir in Montreal offers an alternative gastronomic experience. As its name indicates, here, guests eat in the dark, heightening the other senses which, when deprived of sight, are multiplied tenfold. The experience also represents a short introduction into the world of blindness as the service is entrusted to the visually impaired and some of the profits are donated to blindness associations.
9. Interno, Colombia
Orange Is the New Black will appreciate this restaurant in Cartagena, Colombia that is operated by the inmates of the San Diego Women’s Prison. They work in the kitchen and dining room to serve clients dishes they have learned to prepare with top Colombian chefs. This reintegration project offers these women a second chance and allows visitors to taste delicious gourmet dishes.
10. Le Pavillon des Canaux, Paris
You want to enjoy brunch at home but are too far from home because you’re in Paris? Rendez-vous at the Pavillon des Canaux, it’s like home… but better! This former lockkeeper’s house has been transformed into a cozy restaurant complete with all the rooms that comprise a traditional house, and guests can hang out in each of them.