Visitors to Norway will soon be able to experience dining 5m below sea level in the world’s largest underwater restaurant, with a perfect panoramic view of the ocean floor.
Under, a restaurant in Lindesnes, on Norway’s southernmost tip, is Europe’s first underwater restaurant. The 34m long structure was designed by award-winning architectural firm Snøhetta. It appears to be half sunk into the water and rests on the ocean floor.
The restaurant was conceived with the environment in mind and will be integrated into the surrounding marine ecosystem in time. The rough outer shell of the building will act as an artificial reef, attracting sea creatures and kelp.
Built to withstand the pressure and rough environment it is surrounded by, Under boasts a 11m by 3,4m window that offers an almost guaranteed spectacular view of the seabed. The window has been fitted with lighting that attracts plankton which, in turn, attracts other sea life.
Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen created the menu with a focus on seasonal sustainability. On the restaurant’s website, he says: “Fresh ingredients and pure, naked flavors are of utmost importance to us. At the same time, we want to provide a unique dining experience that ushers our guests beyond their current comfort zone.”
Under will have a set menu showcasing each season’s unique produce. It will take about 3.5 hours to work through as it comprises 18 delicacies that highlight some of Norway’s finest seafood, as well as seabirds and the wild sheep that graze nearby.
Local delicacies include sea truffle, stone crab and squat lobster – three forgotten delicacies which Pedersen rediscovered in the icy waters surrounding the restaurant.
The cost of the immersion menu is R3788, the wine pairing is an additional R2,441, while a juice pairing will set you back R1,431. Wine can also be ordered a la carte.
Under, which opens to the public on April 2, has attracted huge interest. It is fully booked until September, which only has a few open days left. If you are planning a trip to Norway, and will be in the vicinity, you can ask to be placed on the waiting list and keep your fingers crossed a table becomes available.