Forget the square table laid with a plain cloth and set with simple cutlery. The traditional restaurant experience is all well and good, but there are plenty of restaurants all over the world who have really gone the extra mile to offer something truly different. With this list, it’s more about the overall experience that the food itself. From the weird, scenic, truly wonderful to downright bizarre, the memory of your meal here will linger long after you’ve returned home…
Yellow Treehouse, Auckland – New Zealand – An intimate birdcage-style house perched high amongst the trees of a redwood forest
Just as the name suggests, the Yellow Treehouse in Auckland is a treehouse, shaped somewhat like a giant birdage, with the warm lighting from inside lending a golden yellow glow throughout. A wondrous sight perched nearly 10 metres in the air, nestled in the branches of a redwood tree, the Treehouse is an intimate space, catering for just 18 guests at a time.
Switch, Dubai – United Arab Emirates – An ever-changing colourful kaleidoscopic wave
In the city that does everything bigger, bolder and more brash, comes the colour-changing restaurant Switch, created by famed designer Karim Rashid. A continuous, wave pattern wall that circles the entire venue, giving the feeling of being wrapped up, or enveloped in the space. What’s more, this wall also changes colours, alternating between contrasting pink, gold, purple and aqua palettes.
Hajime Robot Restaurant, Bangkok – Thailand – Sushi served by samba-dancing robots, what more could you want?
We’ve all dreamt of watching robots dance and do the samba while munching away on sushi….right? Well, the dream is a reality at the Hajime Robot Restaurant in Bangkok. As far as the dining goes, Hajime is your average Japanese sushi and barbeque place. But it’s the service that sets it apart – with robots taking the orders via a computer, and even serving the food! Don’t worry, drinks and other delicates are left to human hands. Every so often, the robots will drop everything – hopefully not literally – and bust out a few dance moves, before getting back to their futuristic business.
Bedtaste, Dusseldorf – Germany – No need to lift a finger as you recline in bed, enjoy a meal and cruise down the Rhine
Having one of those days where you wished you didn’t get out of bed? Well, Bedtaste Floating Restaurant in Dusseldorf is the place to go. Laze away on your personal full size bed, on board this majestic ship as it cruises down the Rhine, with a DJ spinning soothing tunes.
Stuckli Sky Dining – Switzerland – The sky’s the limit on this suspended cable car restaurant, overlooking the summer Swiss Alps
Stuckli Sky Dining is truly one-of-a-kind restaurant, offering rolling views of the Swiss Alps below, from a gondola, or cable car, suspended many metres in the air. Dining trips run throughout summer, and are especially timed to coincide with the dramatic sunset over the panoramic mountains. You’ll begin with an appetiser on land in the town of Mostelberg, before embarking on board the custom-designed car, where you’ll enjoy the main course and dessert, with the regional food showcasing the very best Swiss cuisine.
Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh – United States – Sample some different cuisine and learn about other countries and cultures, all from your takeaway wrapper
For those who are looking for a little politics with their potatoes, or want to learn something over lentils, the Conflict Kitchen in the US city of Pittsburgh is a good place to start. It’s a takeway restaurant that only serves cuisine from those countries that are in conflict with the United States. Conflict Kitchen works on a rotating basis, changing every six months and focusing on one country at a time. Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan and Venezuala have all been previously covered by the restaurant. The Kitchen goes much further than just food, aiming to highlight the culture of the chosen country, as well as the thoughts and feelings of its citizens. This is achieved through the food packaging, with specially-made papers and wrappers containing interviews and information.
Ilthaa Undersea Restaurant – The Maldives – Experience the magic and mystery of the undersea, from the comfort of dry land
The Ilthaa Undersea Restaurant, located in the luxurious Hilton Resort complex in the Maldives, is the world’s first dining experience of its kind. A visit to Ilthaa is like exploring the depths of the world undersea, without getting so much as a toe wet. This all-glass enclosure offers crystal clear views of the marine life and coral reefs, sitting five metres underwater.
Fang Weng Restaurant, Yichang – China – Enjoy sweeping views of the Yangtze River below from this restaurant crafted from a cave
Fang Weng, in the Chinese province of Yichang, offers breathtaking views and an authentic regional dining experience, all in one. It’s known as the ‘Cave Restaurant’, for obvious reason, as it’s been built into a cave wall along the Yangtze River, sitting high in the air, where the flowing waters can be watched from above. For the daredevils, there’s even a nearby bungee jumping platform.
Kalin – Slovenia and Croatia – You really can be in two places at once, with a national border that crosses the dining room
Having a busy, jam-packed holiday and feel like you need to cram as much in as you can and be in two places at once? If this is the case and you’re exploring Eastern Europe, stop for dinner at Kalin, a tavern which sits directly on the border between Slovenia and Croatia. There’s a great photo opportunity in the dining room floor, with a fluoro yellow line painted to mark the very spot that divides the two countries. Begin with a main course in Slovenia, retreat to Croatia for an after-dinner coffee and desert on the lounges before heading back to Slovenia to settle the bill. You should even have time to hop back to Croatia for a game of pool!
The Rock – Zanzibar – Sit back and watch the sunset on your very own mini-island, overlooking the shores of Zanzibar
The Rock Restaurant, sitting perched atop a jagged rocky ou
tcrop in the waters of Zanzibar, must rank with the world’s most picturesque restaurants. Overlooking the shores of Michanwi Pingwe beach, The Rock becomes an island all of its own with the moving of the tides. After dinner, relax with a cocktail on the balcony outside and watch the deep yellow and orange hues of the sunset, before slowly wading through the water back to the beach.
Don’t miss an incredible dining opportunity when you travel. Talk to your personal travel manager before setting off. Visit http://www.travelmanagers.com.au/ptm-search/