The 5 Most Unique Restaurants Around the World

unique restaurant concepts

If ‘food travel’ and ‘adventurous eating’ sound like something you might want to do, then you’d definitely want to be acquainted with the world’s most outstanding restaurants. Most of the world’s popular restaurants are located in large international cities such as New York, London, Paris, and more. But when it comes to unique and outstanding, you’ll find restaurants in underwater settings and others that are made out of ice.

This is a list of the top 5 most unique restaurants around the globe.

1.      Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (Maldives)

Ithaa underwater restaurant is located at the Conrad resort in the Maldives. This super unique restaurant sits 16 feet below water level, offering great views of sea life that you’d normally just see on TV. What’s even better? You don’t need that wetsuit and snorkeling gear to get to Ithaa. This dining facility was named the world’s most beautiful restaurant by New York Daily News back in 2014. Contemporary European cuisine, and regular lunch menus are offered here. Ithaa can also be booked privately for occasions such as weddings, breakfast, and special occasions. Although considered quite pricey, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

2.      Snow Castle Restaurant (Finland)

Snow Castle Restaurant

If you think you’ve been to the most unique restaurant in the world, wait until you get to the Snow Castle Restaurant in Finland. This is a snow-walled facility that was built exclusively out of ice and snow. In fact, the only thing that’s not made of snow or ice is the food and drinks, which visitors are advised to eat fast before they become too cold or freeze. Due to the nature of its construction, Snow Castle has to be rebuilt every winter.

3.      The Grotto (Thailand)

The Grotto Thailand

At the Rayavadee Resort in Thailand, The Grotto restaurant sits right under a huge limestone cliff, on a beach. Guests can take in some light snacks or drinks while enjoying the majestic views. On other days, though, there’s a barbecue under the cliff overhang. You can read a book here, or just relax and enjoy the sunset.

4.      58 Tour Eiffel (France)

Instead of eating at a restaurant with a view of the Eiffel tower, why not just eat at a restaurant that’s in the Eiffel tower itself. At 58 Tour Eiffel, you can take in views of Paris streets from above. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the Eiffel tower, and meals are quite expensive here. Still, if you have a special occasion coming and you’d like to sample some of Paris unique magic, this is a great restaurant idea.

5.      Vertigo (Thailand)

Sitting on the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel in Thailand, Vertigo offers incredible views of the busy Bangkok streets below. You can enjoy fork-tender seafood here, or some of the premium steaks available on this location. Premium drinks are also available at the Vertigo, including the likes of the classic Vertigo sunset, and many others. When it comes to moon bars, the Vertigo is as unique a restaurant as it gets.

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FOOD TV – Top 7 Cooking Competition Shows to Watch

Food TV is a must have for those of us who love cooking. And we need a variety, from cooking competition shows to feature chefs and on-screen how-tos. Luckily for us, there are a lot of cooking shows on TV around this time, and new ones are cropping up all the time. In this article, we are going to look at the top food TV shows to keep you entertained and educated on new recipes and cooking methods.

Bakers vs. Fakers on the Food Network

This is one of the most popular cooking shows on TV. Professional bakers compete with skillful home cooks for the ultimate culinary challenge. Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and a number of other (rotating) judges get to sort out the real bakers from the fake ones. If you love watching cooking competition shows, you’ll most certainly enjoy this program. The focus on cakes and cookies (as opposed to steaks and pasta) is particularly interesting for people who love baking.

Chopped on the Food Network

Aired by the Food Network and hosted by Ted Allen, Chopped is another must0watch cooking challenge. Four promising chefs are tasked with turning everyday ingredients into outstanding 3-course meals. Four different chefs are competing in each new episode, which consists of three different rounds. In each round, the chefs are given a basket that contains about 4 unrelated ingredients. The food that they make must feature each of these ingredients. The competitors have access to a stocked refrigerator, and pantry. At the end of each round, during which time each chef must have completed making his or her dish, the judges will judge the end results based on creativity, taste, and presentation. The judges will decide which chef is ‘chopped’, and the other three will continue to the next round. By the time it gets to the ‘dessert’ round, only two chefs are remaining. The winner of the competition (at the end of the episode) receives a cash prize, usually amounting to $10,000.

Ching’s Amazing Asia on the Cooking Channel

Ching-He Huang, a top chef of British-Chinese nationality, brings her expertise to the table on the international cooking show Ching’s Amazing Asia. This 10-episode food TV show takes the viewer to Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau, Japan, and Taiwan, where they can learn about the unique food culture and top dishes in these countries. This is an excellent, vibrant TV show, especially for those who want to do some food tourism right on TV.

My Kitchen Rules on FOX

Previously the hit cooking competition show in Australia, My Kitchen Rules is now rolling out in the US. This show features celebs such as Ray J, Naomi Judd, Lance Bass, and Andrew Dice Clay, who work together with their loved ones to throw dinner parties at home. They compete amongst each other to see who accomplishes the best soiree through a series of challenges. The judges, Cat Cora and Curtis Stone, will then pick a winner from the pack.

Ginormous Food on Food Network

This is one hell of a show about large food items. It features comedian Josh Denny, who travels across the United States and shows off massive pizzas, subs, and bagels. If you’d love to spare some slow time watching bagels that are loaded with a metric ton of salmon and cream cheese, this is just your show for you.

Top Chef

Now airing Season 12, Top Chef celebrates the rise of Boston from a bean town to a fine dining destination. There’s a lot of cultural sites, renowned chefs, and celebrity dinners going on in this Food TV show. There are at least a dozen chefs competing for the top prize, and the show runs on a high tempo. Each of the round-based challenges take advantage of Boston’s rich cultural history and abundance of local ingredients.

Superior Donuts on CBS

This is a scripted sitcom that stars Jermaine Fowler, Judd Hirsch, and Katey Sagal. Superior Donuts is based on a Broadway play going by the same name. It tells the story of ‘Aurthur Przybyszewski’, who runs an old-fashioned doughnut shop. His employees try to bring the shop to the 21st century with new items on the menu, as well as modern cooking techniques and technology.

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5 Outstanding Food Trends in 2017

2017 is already halfway, and the year has proved big in terms of delicious foods and new additions to menus. From eating cake for breakfast to detoxifying mocktails, this post explores some of the most elaborate food trends for 2017. If you’re a dining enthusiast, or rather a food tourist, this list might inspire a few of your activities for the remaining part of this year.

Persian Influences

The Middle East crisis has created a lot of refugees, some of whom are fleeing to the United States and other western countries with their culinary tastes. As Syrians, Afghans, and Persians continue to flee the middle east for better places to live, we’re going to continue seeing a lot of Persian influences on the food scene. Some of these might include the likes of traditional Afghani cuisine, Falafel, Zulubia, and Badenjan-buran among many others.

Purple Food

A while ago, purple food used to be a preserve for farmers markets and fancy grocery stores. That meant for most of us, we didn’t have access to purple cauliflower, corn, potatoes, asparagus, and others. But in 2017, we’ve started to see these foods become more popular and available. Well, this is great news! According to the field of nutrition, colored fruits and vegetables tend to be richer in the nutrients they possess.

Plant Butchery

Plant-based protein has been a trend since 2016. More manufacturers and restaurants are making ‘barbecue ribs’, ‘hamburgers, and ‘pepperoni’ using things such as mushrooms and legumes rather than meat. And this is not about the typical veggie burger anyway! We’re talking about new foods that feel, look and feel like actual meat. This makes them super-appealing for both carnivores and vegetarians.

Evening-focused Food & Drink

Many studies have established a connection between being overweight and lack of sleep. It seems that food makers are taking notice too. New foods and drinks are becoming available in the market, and these are being marketed for night consumption. For instance, Healthy Skoop (a company that focuses on plant-based nutrition) recently released a product they refer to as Sleep Protein. This is a product that promotes calmness, as well as relaxation to encourage better quality of sleep. The product, as you might expect, is targeted for anyone who has trouble sleeping. Through the remaining part of this year, as well as 2018, we’re going to see more of these products.

Fancy Sardines

Sardines are most definitely not the most abundant fish in the ocean. But the consumption of this seafood is increasing. Restaurants and foods joints are making smoked varieties, flavors, and others that are really plump compared to the skinny frame of the fish itself. This is good because Sardines happen to be super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, umami flavor, and other things that are just good for your body.

These are the most widespread food trends that we are seeing in 2017. Other noticeable trends that are growing big this year include Plancha Grilling, Root to Stem Veggies, and Detoxifying Mocktails.

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6 Little Known Food Travel Destinations

Forget France, Italy, and Ireland! If you’re into food tourism, some of what’s best is available in other, little known destinations. In this post, we highlight some 5 little-known food travel destinations that are definitely worth a visit.

1.      Croatia

Perched between Italy, the Ottoman Empire (former), and central Europe, Croatia happens to be one of the most under-recognized food travel destinations around the world. Inland, there’s a dominance of central Europeans foods, focusing on cheeses, meats, beer, noodles, and fruit spirits. At Istria, a bilingual area that stands near the border with Italy, there’s a strong case for local foods. There’s a lot of outstanding seafood, mushrooms, and olive oils that can be washed down with a variety of wines and spirits.

2.      Germany

Like England, Germany is known for stodgy food, but this is not warranted. While you may want to take a hike, or ride a bike to dispose the calories from noodles, sausages, breads, potatoes and pretzels, a lot of vegetarian options are showing on German menus. If you visit during the asparagus season, you’ll just but appreciate the country’s commitment to local foods. Slowly, Germany is emerging as a new favorite in the region, with creative new menu and dishes.

3.      Peru

Peru takes food seriously, there’s no doubt about that. Although this South American destination isn’t often recognized as one of the top food travel destinations around the world, the country has got plenty to offer. Its local ingredients include seafoods, meats, and produce. There are also tons of superfoods such as lucuma, maca, quinoa, amaranth, and others that the country just started taking notice of recently. Combine all this with a vibrant, multi-cultural population and you get a vibrant food scene.

4.      Burma

Commonly referred to as Myanmar, Burma is an Asian nation that borders Thailand, India, and China. After a prolonged period of political isolation, Burma is just recently opening up as a great food travel destination. The flavor base here is different than the popular Vietnamese and Thai, and it’s something to try especially for people who have a taste for Asian foods.

5.      Georgia

Quite unknown to food travelers, especially those from Western countries, Georgia is a burgeoning food destination. Given its size, the country is a culinary giant. You can sample cuisines with millennia of traditions that celebrate local ingredients such as eggplant, walnuts, pomegranate, kidney beans, hot peppers, and lots of cheese. There’s a lot to sample on the Georgia food scene.

6.      Switzerland

Switzerland is best known for its cheese and chocolate, and for its political neutrality. In the country’s Appenzeller region (to the Northeast), dairy lovers can try the spicy cheese created from raw cow milk. There’s also the birchermuesli, a healthy and tasty breakfast dish that’s found almost everywhere. You could also try Zurich-style minced meat, sweet potato pancakes, and dozens of other incredible dishes in Switzerland. Although Switzerland isn’t usually recognized as a top food tourism destination, the country has got a lot to offer for food travelers.

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Mediterranean Gastronomy – 3 Top Recipes to Get You Started

Mediterranean Diet

Since it became popular as one of the healthiest diets more than a decade ago, the Mediterranean diet has fascinated many. As researchers continue to study Mediterranean gastronomy, traditional Mediterranean recipes have become increasingly popular. The Mediterranean diet is native to countries located in the Mediterranean region and is characterized by a significantly high intake of vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, grains, fish, and cereals. The diet also entails lower intake of meats (especially red meat), and olive oils are the primary source of fats. There’s also a moderate intake of wine daily, during meals.

Scientific studies conducted in the recent past have established a connection between the Mediterranean diet and increased life expectancy. People who focus on this diet also have a lower risk of contract series ailments such as Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes.

3 Authentic Mediterranean Recipes

1)     Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Yield: Generously Serve for 2

Ingredients

  • 15-oz can of Yellowfin Tuna that’s packed in olive oil
  • Handful of rinsed, dried watercress
  • Half cup of well-rinsed, canned black beans
  • Half cup of well-rinsed, canned cannellini beans
  • Half cup of well-rinsed, canned garbanzo beans
  • Half cup of well-rinsed, canned black beans
  • Half cup of well-rinsed, canned red kidney beans
  • Handful of green beans (fresh)
  • 4 radishes (sliced paper thin)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • Couple of basil leaves
  • Tarragon sprigs (fresh)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Thyme sprigs (fresh)
  • Tarragon Vinaigrette
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of grainy Dijon mustard
  • Quarter Tbsp of salt
  • Quarter Tbsp of black pepper (fresh cracked)

Instructions

  • Put your green beans in a boiling water pot then let blanch for about a minute. The objective is to make them bright green as they start to get tender. Drain the beans then put them in an ice water bowl. Let them sit until they’re ice cold, then drain, and pat dry.
  • Choose a platter that’s big enough so that each distinct element of this salad can sit on its own. Place your canned beans in the sections around the outer side of your platter.
  • Place a mound of watercress at the center (and the top) of your tuna. Carefully remove it from the can so that it doesn’t break up much.
  • Arrange your green beans and tomato halves on your plate. Scatter fresh herbs and radishes across everything, then tuck the lemon wedges. You may also scatter a sprig of tarragon or two.
  • Just before you serve, liberally drizzle with vinaigrette
  • Remove thick stems from your tarragon then place it in a food processor to finely chop it
  • Add the remaining ingredients to your bowl, taste, then adjust to your liking (if necessary)

2)     Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Yield: Serving for 2

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Zucchini of medium size (cut it into ribbons using a spiralizer)
  • Half Yellow/Orange Pepper (Sweet Bell). Seed and cut to thin, long strips
  • ¾ cupful of grape tomatoes (cut then in half, lengthwise)
  • 8 large Basil leaves (fresh, and torn into pieces)
  • 2-oz Feta Cheese crumbles
  • Ingredients for the Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 5 oz. tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive-Oil
  • 1 Tbsp of aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt (1 Pinch)
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped Tomato (sun-dried)

Instructions

a)      Instructions for Balsamic Vinaigrette (Sun-Dried Tomato)

  • Combine ingredients in a jar (small-size), seal then shake vigorously to combine everything. You may adjust the flavors by putting more olive oil or vinegar (if desired).

b)      Instructions for the Salad

  • On a 2-side serving plate, put the Zucchini ribbons in layers so they serve as a bed for your other ingredients
  • Layering evenly, put your grape tomatoes, sweet pepper slices, basil leaves as well as feta cheese on your bed of zucchini ribbons
  • Drizzle your vinaigrette then add grinds of black pepper (fresh).
  • Serve!

3)     Mediterranean Potato Salad

This traditional Mediterranean recipe is ideal if you want to make a batch of potato salad, which is especially great for a picnic.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of new potatoes (small) that are scrubbed clean
  • Salted water (use 1.5 Tbsp. of salt for each quart of water) to cook the potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh and tender green beans that are trimmed into 1” pieces. You’ll need about 4 cups of these prepped green beans
  • 3 large red bell peppers (roasted), with core removed, and freshly cut into 2 x quarter-inch strips
  • Three-quarter cup of minced red onions
  • One cup of minced pitted Kalamata, as well as green olives
  • Handful of Italian parsley leaves (fresh) that are chopped roughly
  • Handful of baby arugula leaves (fresh)

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp of whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • One teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • Half teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

Instructions

Boil the Potatoes

  • Place whole potatoes (scrubbed clean) in a large-sized pot then cover with cold water up to 1” above the surface of the potatoes. Bring it to simmer on a high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain the simmer.
  • Cook for up to 15 minutes until the potatoes are easily pierced using a fork (or sharp knife)
  • Drain then put the potatoes on a sheet pan so they can cool

Blanch the Green Beans

  • While potatoes are cooking, boil water in another pot (about 2 quarts of water added 1 tablespoon of salt). Put the green beans in this pot.
  • Blanch for 5 Minutes
  • Cook till tender, then drain and put them in an ice water bowl to stop further cooking

Make Vinaigrette

  • Make vinaigrette as the green beans and potatoes are cooking. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, tarragon, mustard, olive oil, and salt.

Cut Potatoes into Bit-Sized Pieces, Then Toss  

  • After potatoes are cooled, cut them into 1-inch bite-size pieces and put in a bowl
  • Toss the bell peppers, red onions, green beans, olives, and vinaigrette to marinate.
  • Toss with arugula, parsley once ready to serve. Can last a couple of days when refrigerated.

If you’re just looking to get started on traditional Mediterranean recipes, these three options are a good way to start. Of course, there are many more that’ll help you adopt the Mediterranean gastronomy.

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