Compared to 50 years ago, today’s food scene has changed beyond recognition. Diners with cash to spend are calling for more than just good food – they want uninterrupted views from every table, complete privacy, velvety wines, exceptional service, and multi-award winning menus. Artisan coffee shops now feature on every high street, old dives are now white-linen clad gastropubs with Michelin stars and chef hats, and for those willing to pay, nothing is off limits.
As a result of this evolved dining scene, splurging on food is no longer an occasional indulgence – it’s common practice. Food lovers from all walks of life are coughing up to enjoy the world’s most luxurious and priciest venues, their prime locations, celebrity chef statuses, and opulent offerings fit for royalty. Restaurants once reserved for the wealthy are today opening their doors to hard savers, dedicated to finding unique dining experiences.
What are your thoughts? Are the below restaurants worth your hard-earned savings? Here at the Good Food Gift Card, we’d love to know your thoughts.
You probably know Ibiza as a bit of a party town, but what you might not know is it actually houses one of the world’s most expensive restaurants. In fact, it’s technically not even a restaurant – it’s an epic experience like no other. And for $2,500 a head, it should be.
The molecular-level treatment of food at Sublimotion is astonishing, and the menu is designed by elBulli-trained, two Michelin starred Paco Roncero – the Spanish Heston Blumenthal. Diners are given a 3D headset and seated at a table that’s surrounded by a 3,600 inch, seven-million-pixel wrap around screen. From there they are dangled from a helicopter, dropped from a plane, and transported from the ocean to the Amazon in the time it takes 24 chefs, waiters and performers to conjure up 20-something dishes. It’s a four-hour round trip that sees the backdrop change with every course.
Once named the world’s most expensive restaurant by Forbes, Aragawa may have since dropped rank – but that’s not to say it’s become more affordable. Located at the end of a long hallway in the basement of an office building in the Shinbashi business area of Tokyo, it seats just 22 people and is intimate dining at its best. Famous for its beef, the restaurant works exclusively with just one farm and serves steak as it's only entree option. As a general guide, dinner for one will cost around $380.
Established in 1977, Manhattan’s Kurumazushi has been serving New Yorkers and international clientele some of the world’s best sushi for over 35 years. While restaurants serving sushi can be found on nearly every corner in New York, none will provide you with the same flavours and textures that you find here, all from chef Toshihiro Uezu. Those wanting to sample a range of his expertly crafted sushi can expect to pay $300 for a tasting plate.
This trendy restaurant set in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne park in Paris offers an exquisite a la carte menu, with dishes starting at $85. Most meals are set above $130 apiece, and for those wanting to enjoy several courses, you could be looking at bill upwards of $250. Popular dishes include prawn ravioli in olive oil broth, and veal paired with cinnamon-scented puree.
Chef Gordon Ramsay may be better known for his popular shows Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, but Ramsay’s restaurants have long been the talk of foodies, and are extremely prestigious. His signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, is located in the upmarket Chelsea neighbourhood and has held three Michelin stars since 2001. A three-course seasonal menu starts at £110 (about $200), and rises upwards of £185. You’re then expected to pay 12.5% gratuity, and should you choose a bottle of 1900 Chateau Margaux 1er cru classe, you’ll add another £11,000 to your bill!
After nearly 40 years of seeing legendary chefs work in its kitchen, Restaurant Crissier recently received its much deserved 3 Michelin stars. Offering a full “sensory experience”, it’s received enormous praise from both professional rankings and customer reviews. Chef Benoit Violier was voted the country’s chef of the year in 2013, with prestigious French restaurant guide Gault Millau awarding him 19/20 for dishes suches as white catfish saint-gilles-croix-de-vie, cooked with lemongrass, summer roasted mushrooms and red fruit souffle.
A set-course meal at Restaurant Crissier will set you back $415.
This luxurious, Versailles-inspired restaurant ,owned by award-winning chef and restaurateur Alain Ducasse, has to be seen to be believed. Decorated with magnificent crystal chandeliers, bronze, marble, and crisp white linen, and overlooking the Jardin des Tuileries, it really is something special. For a cool $524, one can taste three specialities plus a selection of cheeses and desserts. Alternatively, you could order off the menu and enjoy a guinea fowl pie for around $160.
Got cash to burn and a bit of a sweet tooth? Head to Sweet Surrender in Las Vegas – home to the $750 cupcake. Located in the Palazzo, this swanky cupcake shop serves up the Decadence D’Or, a cupcake made from Palmira Single Estate Chocolate, which is derived from the rare and fragile Porcelana Criollo bean, found at the Valrhona plantation in Venezuela. Topped with Tahitian Gold Vanilla Caviar, it’s flavoured with Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac and topped with edible gold flakes.
Masa has long been known as one of America’s most expensive restaurants, but a recent move could place it firmly in the number one spot. The three Michelin starred Japanese restaurant, headed by Masa Takayama, is doing away with tipping and instead upping its menu price so that the venue “maintains talent across the board”. That means that lunch or dinner for two, after tax, will cost no less than $1,300. And that’s not including drinks!
Named by the New York Daily News as “the most beautiful restaurant in the world”, the $500 per person price tag covers its location, more so than the food. In saying that, the European-inspired menu is absolutely spectacular.
Ithaa means ‘mother of pearl’ in Dihevi, and the name reflects the 180 degree panoramic view of the coral gardens which surrounds it. Sitting five metres below water, you’ll enjoy dishes such as lobster carpaccio, saffron champagne risotto and Malossol imperial caviar, all while watching sharks and other marine life swim around you.