One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing another culture through its cuisine. Whether it’s trying a foreign dish for the first time or chowing down on a savoury street snack, our best memories are often made while filling our bellies.
And sometimes, our most memorable dining experiences are immersive journeys that involve all our senses, taking us high into the sky or to the depths of an ocean while supping on delicious cuisine. Wherever you are in the world, we hope you get to dig into a unique dining experience soon. Here are six to consider.
1. Dine “underwater” in Singapore
Imagine tucking into your meal as a manta ray or hammerhead shark glides by languidly, accompanied by divers swimming in choreographed motion. This will be a reality for diners at Resorts World Sentosa’s S.E.A. Aquarium restaurant who opt for the Aqua Gastronomy experience from now through to 31 October 2020. This 100% sustainably sourced seafood dinner is accompanied by underwater performances by professional divers and multi-sensory theatrical elements. As part of safe-distancing measures, this dining experience will feature eight separate dining pods that can accommodate up to five people each and just five tables for couple seating. Bookings for September are full, but you can book for an October seating via their website.
2. Dine in a sea cave in Italy
Few restaurants in the world other than Grotta Palazzese can command breath-taking views while also boasting a history of entertaining that dates back to the 18th century. Located in Italy’s southern region of Puglia, the gourmet restaurant has an outdoor terrace set within a natural cave that looks out onto the gorgeous blue-green Adriatic Sea. Because of its atmospheric backdrop, the cave has been used for banquets and parties since the 1700s. Grotta Palazzese is not all looks and no substance, however. Specialising in fresh seafood, the dishes served here are consistently excellent and, this being Italy, there’s also a wide selection of award-winning wines on offer.
3. Dine high above the ground
Conquer your fear of heights at Dinner in the Sky, a one-of-a-kind dining concept that sees diners being hoisted into the sky on a gigantic platform, along with a head chef, sommelier and waitstaff. With a bird’s eye view and a gastronomic feast spread out before you, it’s hard to experience anything else except pure enjoyment. Noteworthy chefs that have taken part in this novel dining experience, which was founded in 2006, include Heston Blumenthal, Alain Passard and Joël Robuchon. Dinner in the Sky hosts events all over the world, with upcoming dinners taking place in Italy (9-13 September), Belgium (16 to 18 September) and Mexico (28 November to 28 December).
4. Dine in a yurt in Tibet
Standing in the formidable Tibetan highlands and with a dramatic backdrop of the Himalayas, the Banyan Tree Ringha is probably one of the most secluded resorts in the world. The resort’s restaurant is built within a traditional Mongolian yurt, made with wood and cloth. Within the cosy space, you can enjoy a feast of Tibetan Hot Pot and an array of succulent barbecued meats. Wash it all down with heady highland barley liquor as you drink in the majestic scenery spread out all around you.
5. Dine on a train while solving a murder mystery in London
All aboard The Murdér Express, a train leaving from the fictional Pedley Street Station. Passengers are invited to step back in time to 1937 where Britain’s most famous archaeologist, Dr Errol Earhart, has just discovered the world’s most valuable diamond and is transporting it to the Von Cleethorpes estate onboard the Murdér Express. Not far into the journey, the diamond goes missing and different characters mysteriously start disappearing as well. As the train races towards its destination, you must help solve the mystery… or risk being a suspect yourself. It’s not all detective work and madcap capers, of course. This immersive dining experience includes a delicious four-course meal designed by chef Louisa Ellis, a 2017 finalist on the BBC series MasterChef: The Professionals.
6. Dine like a ninja in Tokyo
Sure, you can sit down to another resplendent kaiseki feast in Japan’s capital city, but wouldn’t you rather do it like a ninja instead? Ninja Akasaka is a themed restaurant in central Tokyo that replicates the ambience of a tucked-away ninja village from the Edo era, replete with ponds, waterfalls and the sounds of bell crickets. To enter the village, you’ll have to first go through a long and dark labyrinth that entails more than a few surprises along the way. When you finally settle down for dinner, your meal will be served by highly skilled ninja waiters – clad completely in black, of course – who perform tricks at your table. Definitely an adventure for the whole family!
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.