Some people travel to sightsee, while others are motivated purely by their desire to experience the world through tastes and flavours of foods from foreign lands.
Combining fine dining with food theatre, phenomenal techniques, and awe-inspiring scenery, these luxury restaurants are worth travelling across the globe for. They include:
Sublimotion – Ibiza, Spain
About R30 000 a person
Sublimotion opened its doors in 2014, on the Spanish island of Ibiza. The dining experience has been described as fantastical, futuristic, and thought-provoking eating at its finest, thanks to the innovative techniques used by Michelin two-star chef Paco Roncero, who uses molecular gastronomy, along with music, lighting, ambience and food, to excite all the senses. The meal features 20 different food sampling dishes and seats a maximum of 12 people at a time.
Taking patrons on a newly designed multi-sensory journey, they have a total of 25 employees, including craftsmen, cooks, illusionists, waiters, and a plate jockey. According to the Veebrant website, there is a musical menu, choreographed service, and groundbreaking technology to aid in the experience.
Guests feast on avant-garde cuisine, in a high-tech, interactive environment dubbed “capsule,” which acts as a blank canvas, ready to be changed into any scene imaginable during the event.
Ithaa Undersea – Maldives
About R4 500 a person
Dine 5m beneath the ocean’s surface, at the world’s first undersea restaurant. Opened in 2005, the restaurant and aquarium hybrid offers panoramic views of colourful coral gardens, indigenous sea creatures, and fusion meals paired with excellent wines. Ithaa is available for private dinners, weddings, and other special events, and is a favourite among honeymooners.
Their four-course set menus are inspired by local tastes, mixed with Western influences, paired with a wine theme. Their Charcoal Reef Lobster is one of their stand-out dishes: a whole Maldivian lobster, ingratiated with saffron and espelette chilli hollandaise, served with smoked avocado mash, corn tiles and beetroot tortellini.
Musashi by Aman – Tokyo, Japan
About R4 300 a person
The flavour affair that is Musashi by Aman takes place at an eight-seat Hinoki cypress-wood counter, that allows guests to partake in the genuine Japanese omakase eating ritual.
Master chef Musashi makes an excellent assortment of sushi and sashimi right in front of them, using the best and freshest ingredients available. Omakase, which translates to “I will leave it to you,” is a Japanese practice of surrendering your order to the chef, and giving them complete creative control over your dining experience.
A professional chef, with a wide range of ingredients and extensive expertise, is required for a successful omakase experience. Chef Musashi visits the Tokyo fish market early in the morning to choose the freshest seasonal seafood, which he then pairs with his own-grown sushi rice, to create his omakase dishes.
Guy Savoy – Paris, France
About R6 700 a person
For a sophisticated fine dining experience, visit Guy Savoy’s restaurant in Paris. Described by some as a “celebration of life”, dinner at the Guy Savoy Restaurant provides an intimate dining experience, with the finest degree of personalisation, attention to detail, and beautiful contemporary French cuisine.
Dining takes place on the second level of the magnificent stone edifice that once housed the national mint. Guy Savoy has five modest but beautifully furnished dining rooms with views of the Seine, as well as one extra room.
The wine list is extensive, and it is given to customers in a big bound book, on its own table. From the starters, right down to the desserts, the amount of effort that goes into every element of cooking here is immense.
Wolfgat – Western Cape, South Africa
Price: R1 050 a person
Award-winning Wolfgat, in Paternoster, has a string of awards under its belt. The restaurant, voted among The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2021, seats 20 people – on a booking-only basis.
Under Kobus van der Merwe, travellers can expect a seven-course meal that celebrates indigenous ingredients, specific to the coastal location. The views are equally delicious. In addition to its impressive food offerings, the restaurant’s building dates back to more than 130 years, with the Wolfgat cave on the premises. Due to its popularity, you may have to book your visit months in advance.
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