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Essential Journal

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Unusual Eats

We’re always on the search for something new, aren’t we? After a while, even our most favourite restaurants can seem a little stale, a little repetitive, a little…well, just the same as anywhere else. So, to help you combat this, we here at EJ have searched high and low to compile a list of restaurants turning the world of fine-dining on its head. From fantastically ghastly looking plate serves to invitingly obscure locations, these places are sure to refresh your restaurant experience. 

Imagery Credit: Irina Boersma


Ikoyi occupies a unique space in London’s fine dining ecosystem, pairing culinary evolution, personal character and a combination of styles rarely found in the capital. Ikoyi, the eponymous Nigerian hometown neighbourhood of co-owner Iré Hassan-Odukale has shaped best friend Chef Jeremy Chan’s vision for West African cuisine at the highest level. Chan’s drive for knowledge, variation and aesthetics exposes diners to his love for seasonal British produce and a menu of West African mainstays. Chicken efro riro, Smoked Jollof rice and mushroom suya have all received Chan’s two-time Michelin star touch. The tasting menu is served Monday to Friday, starting at £300.

Imagery Credit: Justin De Souza


A kebab, at least here in the cobbled streets of England, denotes a greasy spoon at the end of a night out; a full-stop of carbs to curb the wild evening you’ve just experienced. But what if I told you that hidden somewhere in the haute cuisine of Covent Garden resided a restaurant offering a high-end twist on this classic night out grub? The crew behind Maison Bab have been working quite a while on renovating the ‘kebab’, with Maison Bab itself propagating a ‘posh kebab experience’; however, tucked underneath their flagship restaurant, the team have crafted an even greater premium experience: Kebab Queen. In this speak-easy style corner, you’re served a unique and tantalising kebab tasting menu with elements of prim and propriety one would expect of a suitably dignified restaurant but with a distinct retention of fun. If you’re after a refreshing take on a classic, look no further than here.

Imagery Credit: Søren Gammelmark


Behind heavy bronze doors, deep in Copenhagen, sits Alchemist. Blending art, drama, and gastronomy in evocative dishes and an immersive visual experience, the restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Rasmus Munk. An exciting and radical chef, it’s no surprise that this theatrical, holistic endeavour of his is a popular delight. Boasting an incredible set of dishes, there is constant evolution happening at Munk’s hand, remarkable flavours paired with the cinema of ambience. The only prerequisite, Munk says, is curiosity and the presence of an open mind.

Imagery Credit: Ivar Kvaal


How about a restaurant five and a half meters below the surface, eh? /under, off the coast of Norway, promises a sanctum in the unknown. Allowing diners to submerge themselves in the very marine ecosystem of the Scandinavian seas, /under is an entirely new take on the term ‘immersion’. But it has been crafted with its environment in mind, /under combines high-end gastronomy with marine research and conservation; the architecture of the building itself is constructed so the concrete shell works as an artificial reef, a safe haven for the marine life around. The food itself is, almost obviously, heavenly, pulled from the land itself, but /under is more than that, it’s an entire getaway experience.

Words: Beth Bennett & Cal Smith