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Going 'Under': Have a dinner five metres below sea level

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Staff Writer |
Norway    18-course gourmet marathon – five meters below sea level

The underwater restaurant 'Under', opened in March 2019, put Southern Norway on the dining map, both in Norway and throughout the world.

'Under' in Lindesnes is Europe's first and the world's largest underwater restaurant with seating capacity for 100 guests. (On normal nights it will serve 40 guests.)

Under, which means “wonder” in Norwegian, is designed by Oslo-based architectural firm Snøhetta that also designed Oslo’s waterfront Opera House, slopes into the sea and allow diners to eat with fish swimming by.

The building itself is an architectural gem. It is reminiscent of a rock formation that is rising out of the sea; almost like a kind of art installation.

Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 34-meter long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed five meters below.

The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it.

With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions.

Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.

Artificial lighting is used to attract plankton, which in turn lures other species and fish to the area.

The head chef at Under is named Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen, and that means that the food is something to look forward to.

Pedersen was formerly the head chef at the acclaimed gourmet restaurant "Måltid" in Kristiansand city centre, and he has also worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Henne Kirkeby Kro in Denmark.

However, with 'Under' nearly booked-out until after summer 2019, diners will have to book their table soon.

The restaurant recommends that guests allot three and a half to four hours 'to fully escape into our immersion menu.'

Outside opening hours, parts of the restaurant will be dedicated to marine biology research.

Around 1,200 guests had reserved tables at the unusual restaurant 14 months before it opened at Spangereid at Lindesnes. The area is known for its lighthouse perched on the country’s southernmost point.

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