Check Out the World’s Most Extreme Dining Experiences

These extreme dining experiences will take you to new depths
These extreme dining experiences will take you to new depths | © Lillian Tveit / Alamy Stock Photo
Sadie Whitelocks

If you’re building up an appetite for something a bit more adventurous when it comes to wining and dining, then these extreme restaurants might satisfy your hunger.

From dining under the sea to feasting above the clouds and clinking glasses in a frozen wonderland, these venues serve up memorable experiences as well as some top-notch cuisine. Keep reading to discover some of the spots that promise to tickle the taste buds when it comes to adventurous dining.

1. Under, Norway

Restaurant, European

Lindesnes, Norway. 28th Mar, 2019. A diver swims past a window of the underwater restaurant Under. This unusual restaurant is located in Lindesnes, one hour west of Kristiansand on the south coast of Norway. (to dpa In the underwater restaurant in Norw
© dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Under, located on Norway’s southern tip, is the biggest underwater restaurant in the world, with room for about 40 people. The wacky concrete-clad venue, described as a ‘sunken periscope’, appears half-submerged in the water with a giant 11m × 4m (36ft × 13ft) window serving up views of the seabed. Diners descend 5m (18ft) below the surface via a wooden staircase, where they’ll find an 18-course tasting menu whipped up by head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard awaiting them. The full meal, plus a wine pairing, costs 3,700 Norwegian kroner (£286). Some of Ellitsgaard’s previous culinary creations include celeriac with brown crab liver, mushrooms and spruce, truffle seaweed, and raw mahogany clams with preserved tomato water. Under, which means ‘wonder’ in Norwegian, was designed by the same architecture firm behind the opera house in Oslo and the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York.

2. Labasin Waterfall Restaurant, Philippines

Restaurant, Asian

Whet your appetite at this partially flooded restaurant. The Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant, at the tucked-away Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort in the Philippines, is situated in the path of a fast-flowing waterfall. The Labasin Falls is formed from runoff by made by a hydroelectric plant. There is a no-shoe policy so that diners can feel the cooling waters of the shallow river. Post-meal, you can submerge yourself and swim in the falls. Meals are served buffet-style, with traditional Filipino fare on offer.

4. Snowman World, Finland

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Serviced Apartment, Ice Hotel

Finnish Rovaniemi a city in Finland and the region of Lapland, Santa Claus Village Snowman World in the Arctic Circle
© Mark Waugh / Alamy Stock Photo

Skidoo over to Snowman World in Finland and step into the world’s only ice restaurant located on the Arctic Circle. Be sure to wear something warm, as the dining room inside a large igloo usually sits at a chilly –5C to 0C (23-32F). A dining experience costs €119 (£105) per person, with a three-course meal and pre-drink in the Ice Bar included. There are three different menus to choose from, with the main courses varying from grilled reindeer fillet for meat-eaters to grilled salmon for seafood-lovers and a smoked root vegetable, artichoke and beetroot medley for vegetarians. After dinner, you might be lucky enough to step outside and round out your Arctic dining experience with a spectacular show from the Northern Lights.

5. Spitbank Fort, Portsmouth

Hotel Restaurant, British

Only accessible by helicopter or boat, Spitbank Fort, which is about 2km (1.2mi) off the coast of Portsmouth, looks like a Bond villain’s lair rearing its head out of the water. The circular sea fort was one of four built in the 1860s to protect the UK from French invasion. After the renovation, it opened in 2012 as a nine-bedroom luxury hotel complex. Non-residents can dock here for lunch or dinner at the Officer’s Mess; prices start at £99 per person, with a boat transfer and multi-course menu included. The hotel still retains many of the structure’s original features, including a red-brick vaulted ceiling in the dining room. Before dining, tuck into a guided tour detailing the fascinating history of the fortress.

6. REM Eiland, Amsterdam

Restaurant, Dutch

Elevate your dining experience with a trip to the towering REM Eiland restaurant in Amsterdam. The dining venue lies within an oil-rig-like structure, which was built in the 1960s as a pirate radio and TV broadcaster. It is named after the REM law that effectively shut down the station. After being relocated from the sea to the Dutch capital, it was repurposed as a restaurant, sitting atop a former helicopter platform 22m (72ft) high and offering diners a 360-degree panorama over the industrial docklands. Patrons can reach the restaurant by walking up a steep metal staircase or taking an elevator. The kitchen, which is open for lunch, drinks and dinner, serves up modern French fare with dishes such as terrine of octopus and sole à la meunière on offer.

7. Cavern Grotto, Arizona

Restaurant, American

The Grotto Restaurant at Grand Canyon Caverns, Peach Springs, Mile Marker 115, Arizona, United States
© RooM the Agency / Alamy Stock Photo

Take your stomach rumbles to new depths at the Cavern Grotto in Arizona, which is one of the world’s deepest underground restaurants. The cavernous dining room, located 61m (200ft) below the earth’s surface, is accessed via an elevator that plunges 21 stories deep. It is open for lunch and dinner and can sit around 20 people at a time. There is an above-ground kitchen, with finished meals delivered to the dining room via a pulley system. The dishes are lowered in buckets, and aluminium pans are used as plates as a nod to the area’s mining past. One of the specialities is the Caverns meatloaf, served with a secret blend of spices. Sweet-toothed diners might cave in when it comes to dessert, with an all-you-can-eat buffet station. The restaurant’s home-made pies have received rave reviews, with the banana cream, coconut cream and chocolate among the favourite flavours. Work up your appetite with a pre-dinner cave tour.

8. 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

Restaurant, Asian

You don’t need to get your hair wet to meet shoals of tropical fish thanks to the engineering of this underwater restaurant. Located at the luxury adults-only Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives, 5.8 is the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant. As the name suggests, it is located 5.8m (19ft) below the water’s surface. The transparent tunnel-shaped dining room, which looks out into the glistening blue waters of the Indian Ocean, can seat up to 10 couples. The five-course lunch menu costs $225 (£180), while the seven-course dinner, featuring specialities such as sea urchin mousse and wagyu cheek confit, comes in at $280 (£225). Non-hotel guests are welcome to sail over to pay a visit to the submerged dining spot.

9. Dinner in the Sky, Worldwide

Restaurant, Malaysian

Buckle up and enjoy the ride on this unique vertigo-inducing dining experience. Dinner in the Sky started in 2006 in Brussels as a marketing gimmick, but the concept was so successful that its creators decided to roll it out in other locations. The restaurant service uses a crane to hoist a dining table with seats attached and a kitchen in the middle to more than 30m (100ft) in the air. Over the years, Dinner in the Sky has taken flight in more than 60 countries, including Australia, Japan, India, South Africa and Brazil. In London, the dinner tables hover next to the O2 Centre, offering spectacular views of the Canary Wharf skyline and beyond. Breakfast starts from £79, while dinner runs from £169, with drink packages at an extra cost. Despite the tiny kitchen space chefs have to work with, the quality of food is surprisingly good. In the past, culinary stars such as Heston Blumenthal and Pierre Gagnaire have put their name to the concept to whip up flying feasts. Be sure to nip to the toilet beforehand and keep an eye on your napkin if it’s windy!

10. The Rock, Zanzibar

Restaurant, African, Seafood

For a castaway-esque dining experience, visit The Rock in Zanzibar. This unique restaurant perched on a jagged rock was once used as a fisherman’s post by nearby villagers until it was converted into a tiny dining establishment in 2010. It’s possible to arrive by foot when the tide is low, but at high tide, a short boat ride is required. The menu features seafood harvested from the surrounding reefs, with The Rock Special platter comprising grilled lobster, king prawns, octopus and calamari. The cocktail list is also worth dipping into, and the house special, The Rock, features a heady blend of white rum, pineapple juice and blue curaçao.

11. Bulagtai Restaurant, Mongolia

Restaurant, Mongolian

Take your taste buds off the grid with a trip to Bulagtai in the heart of Mongolia. The remote restaurant is located at the Three Camel Lodge. To get to the camp, you usually have to take a domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, to Dalanzadgad on the edge of the Gobi Desert. Once there, you will drive another 1.5 hours by 4×4 on unmarked dirt trails to reach your destination. Bulagtai is housed within a traditional oversized ger (yurt), with head chef Muugii serving up a spread of Mongolian and western dishes. More than 50 percent of the food is sourced locally, with items such as wine and cheese purchased from Ulaanbaatar. One of the delicacies is khorkhog, which involves cooking mutton on hot stones for more than two hours to tenderise the meat.

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