If you’re looking for a restaurant where the styling is as exquisite as the food, then you’re in the right place! From ground-breaking architecture to desert burrows to links with race-car history, here are the five most gorgeous dining spaces in the world that make eating the very epitome of chic.
Klein Jan, Kalahari
The Kalahari Desert stretches for about 900,000 square miles, extending into parts of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Hidden in the heart of this vast area is Klein Jan, a subterranean space that takes dining-as-experience to a whole new level.
The restaurant’s owner is Jan Hendrik, the first South African chef to have achieved a Michelin star. At Klein Jan, guests don’t stay in the same seat for hours to eat their meals but rather are moved into different parts of the space for each course, allowing them to marvel at the wondrous architecture, which, in some areas, is cathedral-like, while in others emphasizes the sense of being within a cozy burrow in the sand.
Ristorante Cavallino, Italy
This restaurant has a history: in the late 1940s, it was a favorite eating place of Enzo Ferrari; at the time, it was the factory’s canteen – it subsequently transitioned to the fine-dining space that guests can enjoy visiting today.
The interior design and furniture preserve the connection to this heritage: Ferrari’s horse logo, and the company’s distinctive red and yellow colors, are echoed in the design, and engines, gleamingly preserved, are on display like artworks. The restaurant tables are covered in snowy white clothes and sit on a terracotta floor that reflects the traditional design of the region.
The food itself is sublime: the ethos here is on discovering and preserving often generation’s old recipes and giving them a contemporary twist; an example is a baked pasta with ham dish, traditional to the region, that’s served with edible silver leaf.
The architecture of this restaurant is truly spectacular: costing a rumored £100 million to construct, the Fjordenhaus comprises three conjoined towers, and Lyst’s home is on the first floor of one of these.
Guests will embark on an architectural and gastronomic journey, voyaging from the circular glass bar to the oyster bar, a grill-out on the balcony, and finally into the beautiful main dining space to sample delights such as langoustines from the Kattegat strait, Lyskvad caviar, and salt-baked beetroot shards. Lyst’s most notorious course is simply a flute of Krug champagne served with a slice of sourdough bread and a rectangle of butter. Simple yet decadent- and utterly delicious, which sums up the ethos of the establishment perfectly.
Outstanding in the Field, USA
Quite literally a restaurant without walls, the idea behind this nomadic eatery is to connect diners with the land from which their food springs. To date, the outdoor locations that chef and artist Jim Denevan has taken his unique tablescape to include a wooden pier in Malibu, a remote agave field in Oaxacan, a ranch in Australia’s Byron Bay, and a peaceful pasture in Texas. Getting a seat is notoriously tricky: once new locations and dates are released, tickets usually sell out within an hour.
The food on offer is outstanding: standouts dishes are the creamy lamb curry and bowls of stracciatella di bufala served with tomatoes from a fourth-generation farm in Connecticut.
Room 4 Dessert, Bali
This pudding bar originally called New York its home – now relaunched in Bali, Room 4 Dessert’s tasting menu includes Angel’s Kiss, a clever combination of jackfruit, mango, and pandan, and Incidente Stradale, a dish that fuses Jammu with coconut and coffee. Each dessert is paired with wine or a cocktail, to the delight of diners.
The restaurant’s surrounding gardens are about to be put to work, too. From this month onwards, many of the herbs used in dishes and drinks will be picked from the eatery’s own grounds just minutes before being used.