Restaurants try to stand out not just based on what’s on their menu, but sometimes on the ambience of the establishment as well, making it not just a meal but a complete sensory experience. Check out these 5 one-of-a-kind dining experiences from around the globe.
1. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant – Rangali Island, Maldives
As you make travel plans for the coming year, consider including one of these unique dining experiences around the world.
Located at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort is a gorgeous and intimate (seating capacity is 14 people) underwater restaurant that is five metres below sea level. Opened in 2005, the all-glass restaurant has a menu consisting of fresh seafood, beef rib eye, veal, and other gourmet items. Encased in a transparent acrylic roof, the resutaurant offers its diners a 270-degree panoramic view of sea creatures swimming in the Maldives’ crystal clear waters. A zinc paint coating protects Ithaa’s steel structure from corrosion, however, the saltwater and marine growths adhering to the paint will eventually break it down so, make a reservation while you still can.
2. Dinner in the Sky – Montreal, Canada
Got an appetite for high altitude? Dinner in the Sky brings diners’ taste buds to new heights as they float 50 metres above ground to enjoy their meal. Originating in Belgium, the concept involves a crane hoisting its guests, who are securely strapped into their “dining chairs” 50 metres into the air along with a table, wait staff, and everything that’s required to enjoy a meal floating above the ground. The novelty-based mobile restaurant has gained popularity worldwide and is now offered for limited run periods in cities around the globe including Montreal.
3. Redwoods Treehouse – Warkworth, New Zealand
Built in 2008, the pod-shaped structure is situated 10 metres above the ground in a Redwood tree in the town of Warkworth, north of Auckland. Diners access the venue via an elevated treetop walkway built of redwood milled on site. The striking venue is used exclusively for private functions and events, with a capacity of 30 guests.
4. The Bubble Room – Captiva Island, Florida
Opened in 1979, this eclectic restaurant decorated with classic toys from the 1930s and 1940s started as a small one-room eatery and today has grown into a multi-themed restaurant that takes up all three stories of the house it originated in. Staff are known as “bubble scouts”, each wearing a different crazy hat. Moving trains are on all three floors and photographs of old-time movie scenes and stars adorn every available wall space. “It’s always Christmas at the Bubble Room” is a theme made evident by the presence of the many Father Christmases, the Elf Room and year-round Christmas lights. Music from the 1920s to 1940s serves as the restaurant’s soundtrack and the bright and cheerful pastel colours of the venue make it a near-hallucinatory experience. Favourites on the current menu are original items offered since the restaurant’s early days such as Socra cheese (a cheese served flamed tableside), Bubble Bread, and many of the colossal sized desserts.
5. Modern Toilet – Taipei City, Taiwan Province, People’s Republic of China
The idea for this odd restaurant was conceived by one of the owners while he was reading while sitting, where else, but on a toilet. Initially only selling ice cream-a big pile of chocolate ice cream no less-sold in containers shaped like a squat toilet. This humorous spin became a great success. By May 2004, a full-fledged, bathroom-themed eatery emerged, serving more than just ice cream. Today, Modern Toilet is a chain with locations across Asia and plans for further expansion. If the idea piques your curiosity, you’ll surely want to drop in to have a seat at one of the (non-working) toilets where meals are served in toilet bowl-shaped dinnerware.