The World's Most Unusual Restaurants
One great thing about being on holiday for some is the opportunity to try new foods. From eating in tasty local cafés to fancy high-end restaurants, there are a variety of eateries to suit everyone's tastes and budgets.
Since the 1960s, travelling abroad has become the norm, and in turn our palates have become more adventurous. So for those looking for a truly unique dining experience, the experts here at Asda Money have handpicked four of the most remarkable restaurants from around the world.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (Rangali Island, Maldives)
Opening its doors in 2005, Ithaa was voted “The Most Beautiful Restaurant In The World" by the New York Daily News in 2014.
Designed in Malaysia, by the Kuala Lumpur National Science Centre, the restaurant is classed as the World's Largest Aquarium Tunnel. After the steel building was constructed in 2004, it was transported to the Maldives on a barge, which took nearly 16 days to deliver.
To enter the restaurant, which is more than 16 feet below sea level with a curved roof to keep the water out, diners have to climb down a spiral staircase.
The stunning underwater restaurant caters for up to 16 people at a time and offers diners an unforgettable 270-degree panoramic view of beautiful coral reefs. Guests will be surrounded by crystal clear waters, allowing them to see rainbow-coloured tropical fish, sharks, and a whole host of other exotic sea creatures that are native to the Maldives.
Whilst the view from the restaurant steals the show, the quality of the food shouldn’t be underestimated. Ithaa serves a combination of traditional Maldivian food and contemporary European cuisine. Popular main meals include, fresh seafood, beef rib eye, veal, and other gourmet dishes. For dessert, the chocolate fig dariole or the macaroon stuffed with mangoes and berries is highly recommended.
Although the restaurant has been coated in zinc paint to protect it from the corrosive saltwater, the steel structured building is only expected to last 20 years, so don’t leave it too late to visit Ithaa!
The Rollercoaster Restaurant (Nuremberg, Germany)
With a reputation for innovation, it should come as no surprise that the World’s first automated restaurant opened in Germany. Located in Nuremberg, the fast food establishment offers customers a futuristic dining experience.
After taking a seat in the restaurant, diners can place their order via a touchscreen computer. Once cooked, food is placed on trays and given a sticker and a colour to match the customer's seat. Food and beverages are then whizzed down to the correct table on a roller coaster system. The tracks run all the way from the kitchen, down to the tables and have numerous steep turns and sharp drops.
Although the restaurant is equipped with the latest technology, all the food is sourced locally and is cooked by real people. Everything on the menu is freshly prepared to ensure the food is of the highest quality.
If you’re considering visiting the Rollercoaster Restaurant, make sure you save some room for dessert as their freshly baked hot brownie with vanilla sauce is delicious.
El Diablo Volcanic Restaurant (Lanzarote, Spain)
Renowned for being the most dangerous restaurant on the planet, El Diablo uses a volcano to BBQ their food! With temperatures exceeding 450 degrees Celsius, which is the correct temperature for volcanically grilled meats, the chefs on the island of Lanzarote have been serving some of the tastiest food in the world since 1970.
As it was virtually impossible to construct a conventional cooking system that was capable of withstanding the temperatures of a volcano, architects and owners Eduardo Caceres and Jesus Soto had to lay nine layers of basalt rock to create the foundations. Once the foundations were laid, a huge grill was placed across the opening, where malt lava was bubbling away less than two meters below.
For those considering a visit to the restaurant, you’ll be pleased to know the dormant volcano hasn’t erupted since 1824.
Aside from El Diablo’s unique barbequing methods, the local area is renowned for its fire mountains, that were created approximately 200 years ago, after more than 100 volcanoes sprung up in the region. The surrounding mountains provide the perfect backdrop for couples who are looking for a romantic volcano cooked meal.
SnowCastle Restaurant (Kemi, Finland)
A gift from Unicef, the original SnowCastle was built in 1995, and the tradition of building the castle every winter in Kemi still remains. Open every year from the end of January until the beginning of April (when it begins to melt), the castle is the largest snow fort in the world.
Over the years, the size of the SnowCastle has ranged from 13,000 to over 20,000 square metres. The highest towers in the castle have been over 65ft high and the longest walls have exceeded 1,000 meters. Although the size of the castle changes every year, there are some elements which remain the same: a chapel, a restaurant and a hotel.
Eating in the fabulous SnowCastle Restaurant is a once in a lifetime experience. Inside the restaurant, visitors will find long ice tables, seats covered with reindeer fur, and some of the world’s most amazing ice sculptures, which have been created by local artists.