But what if you’re looking for something a little bit different? Well, Asia’s got you covered there too. This region has some of the craziest places to eat in the world.
So with lots of cheap flights to Asia available from cities across the world, I thought it would be fun to take you on a tour of some of the craziest eating places on the Asian continent. Here you will find the macabre, the majestic and the surreal. But one thing all these restaurants have in common is delicious food.
So are you ready for a surprise? Let’s get this culinary quest started.
1. Zauo, Tokyo
We’ll start our journey by taking a flight to Tokyo. Zauo, in the heart of the city, has become a Japanese phenomenon. This classic seafood restaurant is renowned for its delicious, freshly prepared dishes. But there's a catch, literally. When translated, ‘Zauo’ means Sit & Fish, so you have to catch your dinner before it's prepared for you.
In the centre of the restaurant is a large fish tank which is full of red snapper, sea bream, lobster and even shark. On arrival, you’ll be given a fishing pole and told to catch your dinner. Your chosen fish is then prepared by an expert chef before being served on a traditional Japanese fishing boat located in the middle of the room.
2. Lotte World Tower, Cafe 123, Seoul
There is no shortage of crazy places to eat in Seoul, from the Sherlock inspired 221 B in Gangnam, to the poop-themed Ddo-Ong Cafe in Insadong. But I settled for the somewhat more refined Lotte World Tower, Cafe 123. Located on the 123rd floor of the tallest building in Seoul, this restaurant claims to be the closest point to the moon in the city. The awe-inspiring views from here are worth it alone but the food is also divine. I recommend visiting at sunset for a truly memorable experience.
3. Imperial Herbal, Singapore
Feeling a little peaky? Then you might want to visit the Imperial Herbal Restaurant in Singapore. Before you sit down for a meal here you’ll have a consultation with a traditional Chinese doctor. The doctor will diagnose and then recommend foods to cure your ailments. The chef will then use his skill of herbal medicine to infuse your gourmet meal with health-giving benefits. This is the perfect antidote to a day of retail therapy in this most enticing of Asian cities.
4. Ithaa, Maldives
Ithaa provides one of the most surreal culinary experiences in the world. As the world's first underwater restaurant it’s located in a large fish tank deep under the sea. Here you have a 180-degree view of the ocean as the fish swim around you. The cuisine is also out of this world, a fusion of contemporary European with Asian influences, its the perfect accompaniment to the awe-inspiring surroundings.
5. Vampire Cafe, Tokyo
The Vampire Cafe is perfect for a Halloween treat if you happen to be in Tokyo. The restaurant is kept deliberately dark and mysterious, with walls decorated in rich red velvet and lit with traditional candle chandeliers. The menu is of course vampire friendly so you won’t find any garlic here. But you will find delicious Asian and Italian inspired cuisine. And the menu is also written in English so it’s perfect for all you western Vampires.
6. Gulai House, Langkawi
This former palace on the island of Langkawi has been transformed into a stunning high-end restaurant. Situated in the heart of the rainforest you are surrounded by exotic flora and fauna. Beautiful native birds can be heard singing in the treetops, but it's the monkeys that provide the entertainment. If you’re lucky, one of them may even join you for dinner. And who can blame them, the food here is delicious authentic Malay cuisine enthused with Indian spices.
7. Le Noir, The Vault, Seoul
Food is a multisensory experience, but there’s no denying it's mostly about taste and smell. Something they take to the next level at The Vault in Seoul. Here you’ll be served your meal in complete darkness, which allows you to experience your meal with a heightened sense of taste, smell and touch. The menu changes seasonally and the wine waiter will pair your meal with a selection of fine wines from around the world.
8. Urban Park, Hong Kong
A picnic in the heart of Hong Kong is how Urban Park describes itself. This funky restaurant does away with chairs and tables, replacing them with synthetic grass and picnic blankets instead. Guests sit on cushions, with the food, which is a fusion of European styles, delivered in traditional picnic hampers. The atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious while the food delivers a fresh burst of flavours with every bite. Most of the dishes are also sharing dishes which promotes interaction with your fellow diners.
9. Orchid Conservatory, Kuala Lumpur
Located in the Majestic Hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s business district, the Orchid Conservatory offers exceptional food and afternoon tea in a simply stunning environment. The restaurant is located in a beautiful glass room filled with orchids. You will enjoy your meal surrounded by a stunning display of scent and colour. And because it's a small intimate environment, it is the perfect place for a romantic date.
10. Reverie Cafe & Patisserie, Bangkok
Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, the Reverie Cafe & Patisserie in Bangkok is a doorway into a secret world of mystery and intrigue. Once through the bright red door, you’ll be taken to a tranquil place which feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city outside. The restaurant is filled with natural light and offers an intimate magical setting where you are encouraged to get lost in your thoughts and drift off into a daydream.
So there you have it, ten of the craziest places to eat in Asia. There is something here for everyone, from adventure seekers to those looking for an unusual romantic getaway. With plenty of cheap fares to most Asian cities available at this time of year, it’s never been easier to enjoy a crazy culinary experience of a lifetime.