The modern dining out experienced has evolved; resembling something closer to a form of art appreciation than the barebones necessity it once was. The earliest restaurants were more like institutions; roadside inns and taverns whose sole purpose was to refuel the travel weary and send them packing as quickly as possible. In fact the social and cultural aspect of restaurant dining would not come into play until 18th century France, when a certain French thinker named Jean Brillat-Savarin would proclaim ‘Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.’
Since then the restaurant has assumed various guises; from the lavish interiors of the Michelin starred bistros to the trendy appeal of the urban gastopub. Choices are diverse and abundant, and more than ever restaurants are upping the ante to find a new niche or gimmick that can draw crowds and set them apart from their competitors. Here at Gousto HQ we’ve all had some pretty unique dining experiences, but these guys have gone one step further.
1 Dinner in the sky
Afraid of heights? Then stick to your Gousto box. This concept restaurant does exactly what it says on the tin – enabling daring diners to take their gastro adventures to new heights; literally!
With over 30 popup locations worldwide, Dinner in the Sky boasts two 22-seat dinner tables that whisk customers 180 feet up in the air, treating them to fine dining with spectacular views.
2 Restaurant on the Rock
Everyone has their own idea of paradise, for us this spectacular restaurant on the Michamwi Pingwe peninsula in Zanzibar comes pretty close.
Swim or take a boat through the glistening ocean and climb the stairs to this charming thatched eatery, rising like a mouth-watering mirage from the blue.
3 Labassin Waterfall Restaurant
Some entrepreneurial spark in the Philippines figured that the only thing missing from the modern dining experience is the roar and soak of a waterfall. E’ voila, the Labassin Waterfall Restaurant was born.
Diners enjoy lunch at bamboo tables set at the foot of the Villa Escudero waterfall, their feet well and truly submerged in the crystalline water.
4 Ayers Rock Restaurant
If you’re going to get lost in the Australian outback (and you probably shouldn’t) there is no better place to do it than at Ayers Rock.
From a scenic spot overlooking the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Diners enjoy authentic outback cuisine under a sparkling canopy of stars. Complete with didgeridoos and aboriginal dancing; this experience is sure to bring out the bushman (or woman) in you.
5 Fanweng Restaurant
Over in the Hubei Province, China, another jaw dropping dining experience is on offer at the Fanweng Restaurant, made famous for its iconic views of the Xiling Gorgeand the sheer drop for the tables suspended from the cliff face.
Only a few tables enjoy this view however, the rest are seated in a naturally formed cave; adding to the surreal nature of the experience.
6 Singapore Flyer
Singapore is proud to offer the ‘World’s First Full Butler Sky Dining’, meaning you can enjoy a romantic 4 course meal aboard the world’s largest giant observation wheel.
Included in the experience is your very own airborne host, who will ensure your glass is topped up and your needs are accommodated. And for a whopping $269 per couple we should think so.
7 The Bedford Bank Vault
Across the pond, the yanks have combined their love of food and money in the Bedford bank vault; Chicago’s answer to the speakeasy trend.
The nouveau American supper club sits inside a reclaimed 1920s bank vault, complete with circular vault door and more than 6,000 working copper lock boxes.
8 The Magic Restroom Café
Only in America right? Actually it turns out no! The Magic Restroom Café was a doomed attempt at mimicking the success of the Taiwanese toilet franchise ‘The Modern Toilet’. Somehow the bizarre toilet humour carried a bit of a bad smell with the American public, and resulted in a washout.
Seated upon porcelain thrones, diners could indulge in culinary delights such as ‘black poop’ and ‘stinky tofu’ all served in a miniature toilet bowl. Very appetising.
Another hair brained and rather revolting dining concept that met its untimely demise was the hospital themed restaurant ‘Hospitalis’ in Latvia.
Among the dubious treats on offer was the opportunity to dine in a strait jacket, cut your meat with a surgical knife and be spoon fed your evening mush by a maniacal looking nurse. We can’t imagine why this didn’t take off.
10 Distaster Café
Finally, for a truly serene dining experience, why not head over to the Disaster Café in Costa Brava Spain – boasting a free 7.8 magnitude earthquake with every meal.
Deceptively ordinary looking from the outside, this alien themed restaurant allows the most daring diners to take an elevator down to the ‘centre of the Earth’ where they can enjoy a meal in a cave under the imminent threat of a destructive earthquake. Because who wouldn’t want to do that?
Check out the video to see the chaos that ensues at this unique eatery.
Tell us about your most unusual or exotic dining experiences. If we like it we might just shoot you over a free box for you to cook up in the comfort of your own home.