Under, the new underwater restaurant in Norway, has become the newest destination for foodies worldwide. However, this feat of engineering has architecture fans and oceanographers flocking to the region as well. Norwegian for “wonder,” Under not only has dual meaning but dual purpose.
Designed much like an underground bunker, Under has thick concrete walls to withstand the sea. The entrance sticks out of the water, and taken from a certain vantage, looks like a whale resting its head on the shore. This submerged monolith will function not only as a restaurant but an artificial reef and research center as well. During off hours, the large glass wall will allow research scientists and biologists to observe marine life. Engineers even installed lights outside of the structure to attract sea creatures.
Locally Sourced Menu
Head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard has created a unique menu to accompany the one-of-a-kind setting of Europe’s first underwater restaurant. He is focusing on seasonal, local ingredients and seafood so fresh it probably swam right by the restaurant. Although we rarely see stone crab and rugose lobster in other kitchens, they are one of Under’s signature dishes, in addition to sea birds and wild sheep. Patrons will dine on an 18-course menu, which is determined beforehand and not shared with guests until it’s served. Part of the experience is the anticipation of what’s to come.
Under sets itself apart from the competition—literally. It’s located in Båly, a remote village in Lindesnes, Norway, at the southernmost tip. Unlike other underwater restaurant locations around the world, this area is not warm and tropical. The icy waters and cloudy skies greet many who visit the area. Furthermore, Under is immersed in Norse culture—it’s accompanied by hotels, lighthouses, and ancient stave churches which are scattered along the shore.
Exclusive Dining Experience
If you want to dine at this fabulous eatery, you’ll need to plan ahead—Under’s completely booked until September, and the wait will only get longer as more people make reservations. Guests should also be aware that aside from travel, dining at Under is not cheap. With only 40 available seats, diner’s should prepare to pay around $430 per person. This price tag adds to the sense of exclusivity and refinement that many foodies look for in their next adventure.