It is not easy to stand out from the masses as a restaurant these days. Brilliant food is served in the most amazing settings all over the world. However, some do manage to create new or enhanced dining experiences that make foodies want to travel the world just to have a meal. 5.8 Undersea Restaurant is one of them. While the food is excellent, it is not particularly that aspect that makes 5.8 Undersea Restaurant so amazing. At this restaurant, located at the Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives, it is the setting that makes the experience truly unique.
First step: getting there. It is not an obvious task to travel to 5.8 Undersea Restaurant. The restaurant is located inside the Hurawalhi Island Resort, a luxurious ‘naturally chic’ island resort located on the private island of Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives. To reach this resort, it is best to take a seaplane transfer from Malé airport (about 40 minutes), or charter a speedboat or seaplane from a domestic airport or other resort.
Once at Hurawalhi, guests arrive in the restaurant’s lounge before dinner and are kindly requested to take off their shoes. It is a way to get closer with nature and the island life. A spiral stairs lead to the dining room, where the wonderful underwater world unfolds.
No need to inform you about 5.8 Undersea Restaurant’s exterior design. There is, well, none. Except glass, that is. This remarkable restaurant is located 5.8 meters below sea level and is housed inside a glass tunnel. It is not the exterior or the interior (as we normally know it) that steal the show here. It is the setting, almost 6 meters beneath the ocean’s surface, and the views on the ocean life, that will sear into your mind forever. The dining room of 5.8 Undersea Restaurant consists out of a tunnel-shaped structure made entirely out of glass, divided by an unobtrusive thin metal framework. Diners are divided over the left and the right side of the restaurant and enjoy their meal within centimeters of the ocean life. The restaurant spans 969 square meters, making it the largest all-glass underwater restaurant in the world. The structure hails from New Zealand and was transported to the resort in one single piece during a two-year timespan. The glass is no less than 15 centimetres thick and the ensemble weighs 400 metric tons.
The minimalistic tables in the dining room are positioned on a hardwood floor and there is little decoration (needed). All attention is drawn to the surroundings, and it really does feel like you are having lunch or dinner at the bottom of the ocean.
The restaurant seats a maximum of 20 people and is open for hotel and non-hotel guests, for lunch as well as dinner. Both seatings have pros and cons: lunch offers ideal lighting conditions for pictures and sea life viewing; dinner combines day & light as it starts at sunset and is more intimate. Make sure to book your seats some weeks ahead.
With this breath-taking setting, you would even forget there is some excellent food being served, too. There are different menus for lunch and dinner, and there are vegan and meat menus on offer as well. Make sure to check the restaurant’s website before your book to decide which option is best for you. Highly experienced Chef Eduoard Deplus is responsible for all restaurants at Hurawalhi and 5.8 Undersea restaurant is his flagship outlet. The chef combines a French base with modern techniques and influences, resulting in a contemporary, delicious fine dining experience.
Highlights of the menu include the ponzu salmon belly with aromatic glazed scallop, wasabi gel, squid ink crumble, dashi mustard and scallop ceviche; the smoked lobster with sea urchin mousse and Beluga caviar; the seared Wagyu tenderloin mb7+ with Wagyu cheek confit, duck confit pomme, pickle cherry beet, and truffle jus; or the vegan truffle roasted butternut risotto with smoked mustard chanterelle and truffle shavings. Everything is prepared with the most luxurious ingredients, using contemporary techniques and modern presentations. Seafood is the star in most of the dishes, deservedly so, but the menu offers something for everybody’s taste.
Why go? Well, who doesn’t want to have lunch or dinner at the world’s largest all-glass undersea restaurant? 5.8 Undersea Restaurant offers a modern fine dining experience, combining some of the world’s best ingredients with probably the world’s most unique restaurant setting. Enjoying world-class food at the bottom of the ocean, inches away from a natural spectacle of tropical fishes, is an experience that will leave nobody untouched.