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The world’s top six most spectacular restaurants

By: Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Dining innovations are taking gastronomy further than ever before – from the heights of Peru’s mountain scapes to underwater in Bali, the Island of the Gods. We spotlight some of the most spectacular destinations across six continents.

The world is blessed with only a handful of truly great restaurants that can be described as ‘spectacular’ – an adjective that could be used to describe the food, service, setting or some other magical element that lifts an eatery from being simply special, to sublime. Below, we have selected a restaurant from every habitable continent (sorry Antarctica, but you don’t qualify) that is spectacular in its own unique way.

AFRICA: Wolfgat – Paternoster, South Africa

Housed in a building which dates back 130 years, Wolfgat restaurant is located at the site of a cave of immense archaeological and geological significance. Leading archaeologist John Parkington describes “a substantial chamber lying under an unusually large calcrete shelf”, where surveys have found ceramic remains and sheep bones from the last 2,000 years. Local legend says that Wolfgat’s underground passages reach to the Cape Columbine reserve on South Africa’s West Coast.

At this impressive location Chef Kobus van der Marwe has designed a signature seven-course tasting menu of Strandveld food, inspired by the local landscape and championing indigenous ingredients. Flavors include sustainable seafood, local meats and seasonal veldkos. The restaurant welcomes only 20 diners per sitting, with a focus on sustainability.

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Wolfgat (@wolfgat)

 

AUSTRALASIA: Fervor – Australia

“One day we are in the Pinnacles Desert, the next on a remote island off the Southern Coast of Western Australia,” says Paul Iskov, head chef and owner of Fervor. The restaurant moves with the seasons with the mission to harness fresh ingredients and locally sourced produce and present them in a unique location.

Since 2013, Fervor has championed ingredients which went misunderstood and underappreciated in former years, such as marron, quandong, bush banana and boab tuber. By working with local communities and businesses, the restaurant aims to honor the traditional owners of Australia’s land and celebrate the best Australia has to offer.

Every event is an adventure to learn and reflect upon this diverse and beautiful country.<span class="su-quote-cite">Paul Iskov</span>

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Fervor (@fervorfood)

 

NORTH AMERICA: Vespertine – Los Angeles, USA

Described as “a reverie” by chef Jordan Khan, Vespertine aims to “re-imagine and explore the experience of dining” by marrying food, art, architecture, music, and sculpture. Khan collaborates with fellow visionaries including farmer and osteopathic doctor Stefan Hagopian, post-rock band This Will Destroy You and Jona Sees, expert in the science of clothing. The dining room seats 22 diners, who are presented with over 18 courses.

Vespertine is described as “a place of cognitive dissonance that defies categorization, exploring a dimension of cuisine that is neither rooted in tradition nor culture”. Its vision is physically represented by the structure it exists in, a two-story steel and glass building over four levels, designed by Eric Owen Moss.

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von V E S P E R T I N E (@vespertine.la)

 

EUROPE: Alchemist – Copenhagen, Denmark

Welcome to Europe’s most spectacular restaurant: The Alchemist. Here Danish chef and restaurateur Rasmus Munk investigates “how theater can enrich gastronomy”. In response to the observation that the fundamental formula for restauration has changed little in the last 100 years, Munk aims to redefine dining through an all-encompassing sensory experience which lasts four to six hours and takes place across a journey through unique physical spaces. In its eight-page manifest, Alchemist is described not as a place to socialize but to reflect on human limitations.

Guests experience up to 50 “impressions”, along with beverage pairings. Impressions have ethical or political ramifications, but flavor, high quality ingredients and skillful preparation remain fundamental.

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von ΛLCHEMIST (@restaurantalchemist)

 

SOUTH AMERICA: Mil – Cusco, Peru

Condé Nast calls it “the ultimate destination restaurant”. Located 11,500 ft above sea level in Peru’s Secret Valley, Virgilio Martínez’s Mil is positioned on the edge of the Moray ruins, where the Incas constructed their agricultural lab. A panoramic view that leaves its visitors stunning and speechless.

“You can stay all day meditating or harvesting potatoes, depending on how curious you are,” explains Martínez. Mil’s menu consists of eight steps, paired with infusions, with a focus on vegetables, tubers and grains. The water is collected from Andean snowmelt, and Maras pink salt is sourced from local ancient terraces.

Mil is styled as not just a restaurant but a laboratory of Peruvian culture, produce and identity. The team works with the surrounding indigenous communities to research and develop new crops.

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von MIL LAB CUSCO / Mater (@milcentro)

 

ASIA: Koral Restaurant – Kabupaten Badung, Bali

The first restaurant to introduce the concept of underwater dining to Bali, Koral was named the world’s most iconic restaurant by TripAdvisor in 2021. Koral Restaurant is located within the Apurva Kempinski Hotel and claims to stimulate all the senses, drawing inspiration from Bali’s tropical features and the legacy of the Majapahit empire. The “full bistronomic experience” is accompanied by a hypnotic soundtrack and the activities of more than 80 sea species residing in the surrounding aquarium.

Chef Andrea Astone presents dishes and cocktails inspired by indigenous flavors and made from locally sourced ingredients. Three tasting menus offer seafood, meat, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

 

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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Koral Restaurant (@koralbali)

 

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