If you’re looking to woo that cute barista from up the road, but want to avoid a cliche ‘roses, chocolate, movie, coffee at yours?’ approach, we have you covered. Ranging from underwater to swinging over Montreal, these 10 restaurants are definitely off the beaten track.
The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is located at the Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island Resort, but 16 feet under the sea. It’s very intimate, seating only 14, but the all-glass restaurant offers some spectacular views that very few others can. Its roof offers a 270-degree panoramic view of the rich sea life, and although it has a zinc paint coating that protects Ithaa’s steel structure from corrosion, the saltwater and marine growths adhering to the paint will eventually break it down. This makes it a limited time offer, of sorts, so get your reservations in while you can.
Ninja New York was described by the New York Times as “a kooky, dreary subterranean labyrinth… You are greeted there by servers in black costumes who ceaselessly bow, regularly yelp and ever so occasionally tumble.” It was designed to look like a 15th century Japanese village, complete with winding passages and waiters who play the part to the enth – all while serving really good sushi and sake.
Dinner in the Sky, in Montreal is one for the thrill seekers out there. Basically, a crane hoists securely strapped guests up to 160ft into the air, complete with table, waiter and everything else needed to enjoy a meal above the traffic. Probably not the best for those of you who get sweaty feet easily though…
Redwoods Treehouse is the local on the list. Built in 2008 in Warkworth. To access the place you wander up an elevated treetop walkway built of redwood milled on site. It is only used for private functions and seats up to 30 guests, so while it might not be a good first-date venue (unless you book the entire place), perhaps something more long-term could be arranged…
The Cat Cafe Nekorobi in Tokyo is a decidedly different way to have a quick coffee break. Nekorobi is a cafe full of cats (you may have established that from the name) that wander around inside while you have a variety of drinks ranging from coffee to green tea to instant miso soup. If you’re a cat lover, this place has got to secure a spot on your bucket list.
Safe House in Milwaukee, USA, is the most nondescript place ever. But that’s the point. It’s meant to look like the CIA description of a safe house – a seemingly innocent premise where covert operations work in the shadows. There is no advertising anywhere for Safe House and there’s even a password to get in. Sound like your thing? Well, you didn’t hear it from us.
This one is properly weird. The Modern Toilet in Taipei City, China, is a place where they sell their wares in tiny little toilets. It started out as a bit of a laugh, but soon span into a huge success, becoming a chain Asia-wide. it has plans for further expansion so if Asia is a little out of reach, keep an eye on that vacant lot down the road from work…
De Kas in Amsterdam is actually more of a feat than strange. Everything on the menu is prepared using ingredients harvested at sunrise that day. It is located in an old greenhouse and was started by Michelin star chef Gert Jan Hageman. Mediterranean vegetables, herbs and edible flowers are all grown on site and the man himself can easily be found in De Kas’ nursery planting and harvesting herbs and vegetables.
The Bubble Room in Florida opened in 1979 decorated with classic toys from the 1930s and 1940s. It started as a small, one-room eatery and has grown into a multi-themed restaurant occupying the whole of the three-storey house it originated in. Staff are called ‘bubble scouts’ and each wear a different crazy hat. Moving trains are on each floor and images of old movie scenes and star are all over the walls. Music from the golden era of between the 20s and 40s fill the rooms, and the menu still features original items offered since the restaurant’s early days such as Socra cheese (a cheese served flamed tableside), Bubble Bread, and many of the colossal-sized desserts.
O.NOIR easily has the snappiest name on the list. The general idea is that dining in the dark is the best way to eat, due to your senses of taste and smell being heightened by the removal of your sight. Flashlights, cellphones, luminous watches, all things that emit light are banned. Your evening begins with you placing orders in a lit bar. Then you’re led into an unlit dining room where a two hour dinner service begins. Servers explain everything that’s put in front of you and you’re left to it. Definitely puts ‘blind date’ into perspective!