Dine With The Fishes: The Top 5 Underwater Restaurants
With the opening of Europe's first underwater restaurant last month, dive into Urbanologie's picks for the best underwater dining destinations.
At the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline by the village of Båly, is Europe's very first underwater restaurant. The concrete structure (features 36-foot wide panoramic window) houses the restaurant (with an emphasis on local cuisine) straddles both the land and the sea - the entrance being at the water’s edge with the dining area installed on the ocean floor. The restaurant (also functions as a research center for marine life) is comprised of three levels with the dining room located on the lowest level with a panoramic window with views of the seabed and abundant marine life. Head chef, Nicolai Ellitsgaard offers a menu that follow the seasons with shellfish influencing most dishes year-round.
Within the Maldives Conrad hotel and resort is the world’s first and only all glass underwater restaurant. Ithaa is possibly the snuggest restaurant you will ever dine in (with room for just 14 diners), in which you gaze out at coral gardens and even sharks as you dine. The restaurant’s simplistic (though clearly robust) design is the setting for Head Chef Benjamin Rendell (previously at the Savoy Grill in London) to serve up contemporary European cuisine at lunch and dinner. Expect dishes such as 'Maldivian lobster carpaccio served with reef fish tartare and poached quail egg' and 'Agnotti of duck with forest mushrooms and porcini ravioli'. The resort has also opened the world's first all-glass underwater hotel suite - which cost $15 million to build - and sits 16.4 feet below sea level on the ocean floor, with a king-sized bedroom, living area and bathroom. With its clear and curved, acrylic dome-shaped ceiling and all-glass walls, the suite features 180-degree, all-encompassing views of surrounding marine life. Completely submerged in sea, it has the feel of a larger-than-life aquarium.
Within the Niyama Resort in the Maldives lies Subsix - six metres beneath the waterline and 500 metres out in the ocean. The interiors are in keeping with the concept of the ocean themed restaurant and is complete with seating that resembles sea anemones, a clam shaped bar (in the centre of the room) and a ceiling which appears as if thousands of tiny seashells hang from it. The lighting changes from white during the day, to lavender during dinner and blue during night, ensuring you can see the marine life at it's fullest at all times. Spot over 90 coral reef species through the viewing windows including, moray eels and parrotfish, as you
Opened in late 2016, 5.8 Undersea Restaurant (at The Hurawalhi Island Resort) is the world's largest all-glass underwater restaurant. Its name comes from the depth at which the restaurant sits - 5.8 meters (about 19 feet) below the surface. This incredible dining spot accommodates only 16 guests at a time for either breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menus include seafood dishes and indulgent alternatives such as Kobe beef and veal carpaccio alongside wine pairings. Vast panoramic windows and acrylic arches allow diners to view the incredible Maldivian coral reefs teeming with wildlife, such as manta and eagle rays, tuna fish, sharks, parrotfish, groupers, eels, turtles and snappers.
The Anantara Kihavah Resort in the Maldives is home to one of the first underwater wine cellars as well as The SEA restaurant, which sits on the ocean floor and offers guests 360° views of local marine life from the edge of the reef. The octagonal shaped Sea underwater wine cellar and restaurant was designed to optimize the underwater views from a diner’s perspective; the acrylic windows are set lower than the dining tables and extend past the guests’ peripheral vision, giving the illusion that they are part of the surrounding reef. Various corals and sea fans cover the reef and sharks, turtles, triggerfish and trumpetfish can be seen from the window tables. The menus feature a variety of of dishes from around the world with a focus on seafood dishes at lunch. Highlights include a Wagyu Beef Wellington, poached lobster medallion and red mullet filet wrapped in a lobster carpaccio.