Restaurant Under is a breath-taking restaurant located in Lindesnes, Norway. Apart from being one of the best restaurants in the country, its unique and spectacular architecture made the restaurant world famous since its opening. The restaurant is led by Head Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard and his team, who craft a seasonal tasting menu that celebrates the flavours of the sea. Seafood is the star here, with an emphasis on local and sustainably sourced ingredients. Eco-Conscious Dining rooted in the traditions of the region and executed with as much as possible Norwegian ingredients.
Location & Interior
Hidden along the rugged coastline of southern Norway, restaurant “Under” offers an unparalleled dining experience that takes you beneath the waves of the North Sea. “Under” opened in 2019 and quickly caught the world’s attention as the first underwater restaurant in Europe. It offers a unique blend of fine dining, breath-taking ocean views and sustainable dishes.
“Under”, which means “wonder” in Norwegian, lives up to its name from the moment you enter. The restaurant is a striking architectural masterpiece designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta. The building, which is semi-submerged into the sea, combines contemporary elegance and a natural aesthetic, with a concrete shell that gradually transforms into a submerged dining room with oak panelling and a massive panoramic window.
Similarly, to the produce used in the kitchen, all the wood used inside the restaurant is brought from an oak forest just 7 km away from the restaurant. All wood for tables and chairs is made by the same wood. The restaurant has a huge panorama window 11 by 3,4 meters big, facing to the sea bed. And the restaurant is located at 5,5 meters depth. This window provides an unobstructed view into the underwater, allowing diners to observe the marine life and changing sea conditions.
The chef & the team
Behind the stove of under, you find Head Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard and his team, who impress with an amazing culinary journey and craft a seasonal and ever-evolving tasting menu that celebrates the flavours of the sea. Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard has a high focus on the ocean and to cook with unused species with high quality is something that drives him. Fresh ingredients and pure, naked flavours are of utmost importance to him.
He has lived in Norway for 12 years now (since 2011) and has made the Norwegian land and culture his own. Chef Ellitsgaard forages, hunts and fishes on his days off and off course also for restaurant Under. “Being a chef in such a remote place is a lifestyle. You can’t think of it as work. You have to embrace it and enjoy the value of being in nature and live with it in a mutuality,” says chef Ellitsgaard. He always had a close relationship with the sea, growing up as a child in a fishing village, Frederikshavn in northern Denmark.
Diners can expect a carefully curated selection of dishes that might include locally caught fish, shellfish, and seaweed, all presented with artistic flair. The tasting menu is designed to surprise and delight, offering a fusion of traditional and innovative flavours that mirror the surrounding ocean’s biodiversity.
Under’s menu’s concept, the Immersion Menu, is mainly based on what the ocean has to offer, but some meat also finds its way onto the menu if it follows the values and rules that chef Ellitsgaard maintains for keeping a high standard of produce with animal welfare in mind. For example, the chef uses only local lambs, which live on the islet just 10 minutes from his home. There, the animals eat whatever they can find in nature. “Quality and animal welfare go hand in hand, and to be able to create good flavours and maintain a high standard you have to consider animal welfare and the whole supply chain,” says Ellitsgaard.
Under’s cuisine, of course, consists mainly of seafood. One of chef Ellitsgaard’s signature dishes is a famous dish from Norway called “Fiskepudding” (a kind of Norwegian traditional fish cake baked/steamed). It used to be a dish you served at weddings and big parties, but nowadays it is more of an everyday dish that has a bad reputation because the products you often get in the supermarket are of poor quality. Chef Ellitsgaard is on a mission, to make fish pudding great again! Believe us, he has succeeded.
He makes his own version of quality fish and seasons the dish with aged herring roe and disguises it as a blue mussel since he has mussels in the sauce to round up a perfect balance between fish and mollusks. To create the “beard” a mussel is having in nature, Chef uses a seaweed with a similar taste of truffle that he discovered some years ago in Norway.
Seaweed is another key element in Chef Ellitsgaards cuisine and he uses it both for taste and techniques. A good example of that is an ice cream sandwich where sugar kelp has been transformed to give the same feeling as a crispy fatty and sweet mille-feuille with an ice cream of Bee pollen, elderflower vinegar and cultured milk.
“Under” is not only a remarkable dining destination, but also a pioneer in sustainable dining. The restaurant prioritises environmental responsibility and is deeply committed to preserving the marine ecosystem. They work closely with marine biologists to monitor and protect the fragile underwater environment around the restaurant. “Under” also applies eco-friendly practices such as reducing food waste and promoting sustainable fishing practices, in line with Norway’s commitment to ocean conservation.
Sample degustation menu:
Some of the dishes we tried:
Birch Flatbread – langoustine and fenelär
Stone Crab – soured buckwheat and rodlin cheese
“Peas of the ocean” – lumpfish roe and pork fat
Carpet Clam – yeast and Jerusalem artichoke
Mahogany Clam – fermented tomato and elderflower
Eel – asparagus potato and cucumber
Shrimps – greenshore crab egg custard and sugar kelp
Fiskepudding” – fermented flour and aged herring roe
Langoustine – fermented honey and plum with salted chive flowers
Lamb – aged, chanterelle and sweet cherry
Truffle Seaweed – caramelized egg yolk and ants
Yellowbeets – bladderwrack and preserved berries
Sugar Kelp – bee pollen ice cream sandwich
Sea buckthorn – beepollen
“Mariabolle” – brown cheese and aged pear
Aquavit – red currant and angelica
Discover the Magic of Dining at “Under” in Lindesnes with a one-of-a-kind dining experience that combines remarkable architecture, sustainability and intense gastronomy. Chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard delights his guests with his creative, local-inspired cuisine and combines the best of the region with international accents in a symphony of dishes and flavours. Embark on this underwater culinary journey as the current Under guarantees an experience you will never forget! Restaurant Under is closing by the end of the year so hurry up in order to still enjoy this unique experience!