Looking for culinary thrills? these venues take destination dining to a whole new level.
Have dinner in the sky
Strap yourself in for a meal around a custom-made table suspended in the air by a crane. Since it started in Belgium in 2006, this marriage of gastronomy and vertical hijinks has attracted the world’s top chefs, including Heston Blumenthal and Alain Passard. The truly movable feast has spread to more than 45 countries (Abu Dhabi, UAE, pictured above).
Savour the highlights
At five-star Soneva Kiri resort on the Thai island of Koh Kood, have dinner overlooking the ocean in a bamboo pod hoisted into the treetops of lush tropical rainforest. The waitstaff use zip-lines to serve each course of your two-hour meal, deftly balancing food and drinks as they zoom in and out.
Sip and snack on the fly
Every evening from 5pm, the working helipad on the top of Kuala Lumpur’s 36-storey Menara KH building is transformed into the rocking Heli Lounge Bar (Jalan Sultan Ismail). Arrive early for free access to this rooftop bar serving classic and aeronautically themed cocktails against the best sunset views in the city. Don’t stray too close to the edge but do order the sliders and chicken wings.
Dine under the stars
An atmospheric, candlelit eatery in an open-air grotto carved by erosion over many millennia, Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant at Diani Beach in Kenya has been 180,000 years in the making and more than 30 years for the taking.
Image credit: Courtesy Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant
Get your feet wet
Leave your shoes behind on dry land for a traditional buffet lunch eaten with your hands at Labasin Waterfalls Restaurant at Villa Escudero resort in the Philippines. The man- made falls cascade just metres from diners, with water swirling under the bamboo tables. And yes, postprandial splashing about is an option.
Rock up to the island
It’s not an island restaurant so much as a restaurant island. The Rock is perched on a coral outcrop in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, just off a beach on Zanzibar’s east coast. Depending on the tide, you can wade out or take a boat. And the menu? Mostly seafood, of course.
Eat at a volcanic grill
Take an active volcano, build a grill over a hole in the ground where lava bubbles two metres below and let nature do the rest. The appropriately named El Diablo restaurant (+34 928 84 00 57) overlooks the stark red landscape of Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and is the last word in energy-conscious cooking.
Dive in over your head
Dine among fish, sharks, stingrays and turtles at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. At five metres below sea level, with a rainbow of aquatic life flitting all around, this glass-encased restaurant specialising in local seafood is a truly immersive experience.
Rise to the top
An exclusive, private dinner on the Sky Bridge – the steel structure spanning the top of the Kingdom Centre skyscraper in Riyadh – offers a panorama of Saudi Arabia’s capital glittering 300 metres below, courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.