There is no other experience quite like eating at a fancy restaurant. The dim lights, the white glove service, and of course, the endless tiny plates delivering you waves of surreal culinary experience pulling from influences all over the world. While many wonder if fancy restaurants are worth the hype, if you’ve had the opportunity to partake in a luxurious experience like this then you know it’s well worth the few extra bucks. As the culinary industry continues to advance and competition becomes more stiff, chefs are stepping up their game by adding in creativity, innovation, and mind blowing technology changing the way we experience food forever. We can especially see this coming to life at the fanciest and most expensive restaurant in the world.
So, just what is the fanciest restaurant in the world? It may not be the Gordon Ramsay dining experience you would expect. To answer that, we will need to travel all the way to the magical island of Ibiza, Spain, home to the world’s first multi-sensory gastronomy experience. First opening in 2014, Sublimotion is more than just the world’s fanciest and most expensive restaurant, it is an experience quite unlike any other. It’s futuristic, surreal, and even thought provoking. Under the careful supervision of the infamous 2 Michelin star chef, Chef Paco Roncero, the one of a kind dining experience pushes the boundaries by combining art, illusionism, and of course, flavor into a revolutionary new concept that ventures far beyond the plate and into the other senses. In fact, the first thing your hostess will tell you before the initial course arrives is that you are more than welcome to share with others the mind blowing experience that you have here, “But no one will believe you”.
The Sublimotion Experience
Before you even enter the restaurant, you and your guests are met with a fleet of Land Rovers and escorted to the Sublimotion restaurant which is located inside the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza. From there, you will enjoy an initial drink at Estada Puro, another Michelin starred restaurant run by Chef Paco Roncero. Afterwards, you will be led into a small, old-Hollywood style waiting room where a man behind a desk will hand you your ticket along with a shot. The ticket is completely edible with a tart raspberry seal, and pairs well with the shot. Once you have finished your first taste, the hostess will lead you back into the main room. The main room is completely covered in high definition floor to ceiling screens and only ten chairs, each with neon names hovering over them so you know where you are to sit. You will be waiting on by twenty five professionals who will present your 20 course meal to you over a span of three hours (1).
Each course is paired with a highly sensitive multi-sensory experience set with music, smells, tastes, and visual aesthetics to fully immerse you into each course, going far beyond the plate. Each course is designed with its own theme including eating seafood out of a shell as sharks swim around you, a pick-it-yourself salad bar set in the countryside, and even a virtual reality meal where you will be provided the latest Samsung VR goggles as you experience a futuristic meal set in the year 2050. But just when you think you can’t eat anymore, get ready to make some more room because there is not one but two dessert courses coming your way. First, you will be met with a carnival style dessert experience where waiters will bring out small ferris wheels, balloons with tiny sandwiches tied to them, cotton candy, and popcorn in obscure forms. Next, you can expect a show-stopping finish as the Ibiza nightlife is brought to you. Thanks to masterminds Lucas Vidal, award winning composer, and famous DJ, Wally López, your room will transform into an Ibiza night club as your table transforms into a DJ table. But it doesn’t stop there. The deserts are brought out on turntable plates that hover over the table – yes, hover. Brilliant illusionist, Jorge Blass, uses his creative talents to blur the lines between reality and your dining experience.
A Steep Price to Pay
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A once in a lifetime immersive, futuristic experience like this does not come with a light bill. In 2014, Sublimotion was awarded the prize for best Innovative Food and Beverage and as of 2015 has been named the most expensive restaurant in the world with a price tag of almost $3,000 per person. Chef Roncero said he initially came up with the idea while leading a culinary workshop in 2012. He said he was starting to recognize that restaurants and customers were becoming more interested in connecting all five sense to their dining experience. Two years later in 2014, he introduced Sublimotion to the prime island of Ibiza. The restaurant is only open during the Spanish summer months of June through September and is completely sold out within that time frame. The menu changes seasonally, so the experience is different year after year. Many have testified to meals in frozen tundra’s, elegant palaces, and even a virtual reality meal they enjoyed while skydiving. Reservations can be made on the Sublimotion website but fill up quickly, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when books open up again (2).
Is it Worth it?
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For $3,000, many are wondering if it’s worth the drop on such an experience. Those who have been brave enough to taste have reported that it is unlike anything they have ever experienced before, as the meal plays not only to your senses but even your emotions. From land to sea, past to future, the Sublimotion experience will weave you through an incredible tapestry of flavor, nostalgia, and shock as you experience a dining entertainment that will play to all of your sense. So, is it worth the $3,000? As Chef Roncero would comment, it is something you will only understand if you experience it first hand.