Immerse yourself in a virtual underwater world while you dine. Photo by Roberto Castano / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Take your dining experience to the next level with these fascinating concepts. Targeted at engaging your senses beyond just your taste buds and nose, these novel approaches not only seek to enhance the flavours you’re presented with but also heighten your enjoyment of the meal.
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Curious about how taste evolves when it’s paired with music and art? Or about how theatrical fun and virtual reality can add another dimension to the gourmet experience? Read on to find out where you can travel to for these unique encounters.
For all the multisensory restaurants that have been popping up, where you can expect both the delivery of the food and the actual tasting itself to be immersive experiences, Sublimotion is surely the most extravagant. Helmed by two-Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero, the world’s most expensive restaurant is notably covered with floor-to-ceiling screens. As dishes that play on molecular gastronomy are served, you’ll be continuously treated to changing audio-visuals that are meant to engage all five senses — be virtually transported to an underwater world and even go skydiving with a virtual reality headset!
Feast on dishes that are literally as pretty as a picture. Image by Vingen Bar.
Vingen Bar, Norway
If you’ve ever looked at an art piece and wondered how it would translate to a plated dish, your curiosity is about to be satisfied. At the Vingen Bar, dishes are inspired by the ongoing exhibitions at the Astrup Fearnley Museum; as new exhibitions open, the menu changes to reflect the artists’ origins and signature works. The latest edition, the Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin menu, is inspired by the artists’ garden of sculptures and features beautifully constructed menu items such as pumpkin soup and cured trout tartar with scallops.
See how music evolves the flavours on your plate. Image by Musical Pairing.
Musical Pairing, United States
Borne out of the conviction that music can elevate your meal by engaging your sense of hearing, Musical Pairing partners tunes with food and beverages via mathematical calculations. Each menu item and song is assigned a numerical value depending on their individual compositions and a pair is formed when both have equal values. Be treated to a whole array of unexpected food, beverage and music pairings during your meal. Some recommended examples include eating creme brulee while listening to Harry Connick Jr’s “It Had to Be You” or digging into a rich chocolate brownie to the tempo of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”.
Jump into an interactive play that doubles as a fun dining experience. Image by The Chambers of Flavour.
The Chambers of Flavour, United Kingdom
Add spades of theatrical flair to your meal when you attend one of The Chambers of Flavour’s annual pop-ups. You and your meal become part of a stage act, so be prepared to fully participate in the crafted storyline. Past iterations included instances such as hunting for salads placed in birds’ nests in a make-believe forest or eating dessert in an aircraft before zooming down a slide. As the experiences and dishes served vary each year, you truly have to expect the unexpected.
The world’s first dark restaurant enhances your taste buds by obscuring your sight. Image by Blindekuh Zurich.
Blindekuh Zurich, Switzerland
Dining in the dark may not be a novelty to you but that doesn’t mean the experience is any less exciting. Here at Blindekuh Zurich, you’ll be dining at the world’s first dark restaurant. As your sense of sight is compromised, your other senses are heightened, making for an intriguing meal where you attempt to identify different flavours correctly through your senses of smell, touch and taste. Rest assured if you’re worried about making your way around the restaurant; the visually impaired wait staff is fully equipped to lead you safely around the premises.