Food Pilgrimage: New Destinations for the Luxury Foodie-Traveller

20 March 2019

Let’s face it: we’re spoiled by the variety of cheap, delicious food that’s easy to get. But for the most ardent of foodies, it’s all about expanding your culinary horizons.

You’re looking for something fresh, new, unique. Flavours that your tongue is unaccustomed to. And you’re willing to travel far and wide for it.

For the best foodie experiences that money can buy, venture to these five mouthwatering destinations.

Train Ride Back Through Time in Peru

a fancy dining table setup in a passenger train
Savour fine local cuisine as you coast through Peru’s Sacred Valley. Photo from Belmond Hiram Bingham

Lose track of time as you voyage past stunning vistas through the Andes on the Belmond Hiram Bingham. This opulent train ride will whisk you on a round-trip from the village of Poroy – near Cusco – to the historical ruins of Machu Picchu. Sink into the plush armchairs and admire the antique decor of the carriages, which are styled in a classic 1920s design.

Discover Peru via your plate as you taste the finest Peruvian dishes made from fresh, local produce, such as trout ceviche with lime juice and yellow chilli or smoky, tender meat barbecued Inca-style, before capping it off with a refreshing pisco sour.

Futuristic VR Artistry in Japan

a lady wearing a VR headset
An unconventional yet immersive dining experience made possible using VR. Photo from Tree by Naked

Trust the Japanese to offer a glance into the future, where meals are not only a feast for your palate, but a feast for all of your senses. Tree by Naked, located near Tokyo’s picturesque Yoyogi Park, uses virtual reality technology to create an unforgettable dining experience.

As you progress through each course, the restaurant uses projection mapping, lighting, music, smoke, scent and art to tell a captivating story – known as “Scenes of Life” – which weaves the tale of a tree’s lifespan into your food and surroundings.

Its two-hour degustation menu changes seasonally, presenting traditional Japanese ingredients like wagyu beef and freshly-grated wasabi through modern food preparation techniques.

Banquet Under the Sea in the Maldives

an underwater restaurant with glass ceiling
Be mesmerised by the dancing fishes as they swim right past you. Photo from Conrad Hotels and Resorts

Ever wondered what Sebastian the Crab was singing about in The Little Mermaid? Wonder no more as you dine five metres below the sea’s surface in Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, dubbed as the world’s first undersea restaurant.

Surrounded by walls of glass, you’ll get 180-degree panoramic views of the clear blue waters of the Maldives (one of our top 5 destinations for couples), teeming with coral and marine life.

“Ithaa” means “mother of pearl” in Dhivehi, the local Maldivian language, and the restaurant’s menu is certainly a gem. Featuring contemporary European cuisine, you can bite into the day’s catch, such as succulent reef lobster and juicy prawns.

Table for Two in the Heart of a Volcano in Iceland

a person standing in an illuminated magma chamber
Dine inside a magma chamber; it is a sight to behold. Photo from Arctic Adventures

What could be more thrilling than dining right within the belly of the beast – say, for example, Thrihnukagigur Volcano in Iceland’s southern peninsula?

Technically it’s been dormant for thousands of years, but imagining the hot, molten magma that used to flow where you’re casually eating a meal is somewhat mind-blowing. The vast magma chamber is said to be able to hold three full-sized basketball courts or even the Statue of Liberty.

The gourmet dinner is part of a private tour package, which includes a menu decided by you. You’ll arrive in style via helicopter, which will later take you up for a bird’s eye view of the volcano’s crater.

Romantic Dinner in the Treetops in Thailand

a couple dining in a nest-like pod that sits on a tree
Hang out in the trees this sturdy pod made from rattan. Photo from Soneva

Dine amongst the lush jungle canopy at Soneva Kiri’s Treepod Dining on the idyllic island of Koh Kood. At this eco-friendly resort, diners are seated in a nest-like pod that can accommodate up to four people. Luckily, you don’t have to climb up to the pod, but will get on from ground level before being (securely) hoisted up by cables.

From your perch, you’ll enjoy some privacy to take in the view of the horizon and coastline at your leisure. Your personal waiter will zipline in and out of your pod with admirable efficiency, considering that you’re situated quite a few metres above ground.

Snack on delicious canapés of crispy sweet potato, banana and taro chips before you dig in to a hearty Thai-inspired meal made from organic ingredients and sourced from local markets.

Need to unwind after a food adventure? Here’s a treasure trove of 6 stunning remote hideaways where you can unplug and relax.

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