Will travel for food: Award-winning restaurants to add to your travel bucket-list

The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai. (Photo: Supplied)
The Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences in Dubai. (Photo: Supplied)

Cape Town – When it comes to global food experiences and travel, there are two types of travellers.

Those who try out new tastes and food experiences while on their ventures abroad because the opportunity happens to present itself, and those travellers who plan their trips based solely on a food experience that cannot be missed.

If you happen to fall in the latter category of travellers, you’ll be pleased to know that many popular and exotic destinations boast a new dimension of touring the world – award-winning food experiences that have to be fitted in your travel itinerary.

SEE: Top 10 countries for Michelin 3-star restaurants

While tasting traditional food from the countries you visit may be high on the agenda, you are on holiday after all - so spoiling yourself with a fine dining treat at an award-winning establishment shouldn’t conjure feelings of guilt.

One of the most-anticipated multi-award-winning restaurants set to open in the popular city of Dubai is Dinner by world-renowned Michelin-star chef Heston Blumenthal. The eatery will open at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in the middle eastern city in 2019.

With locations well-established in London and Melbourne, this will be Blumenthal’s third Dinner restaurant, which offers “contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomic recipes dating back to the 1300’s”.

In January 2011 ‘Dinner by Heston Blumenthal’ opened its doors under the leadership of Chef Director Ashley Palmer-Watts. Boasting 2 Michelin stars, the menu is inspired by the flavours of Britain – “from the farmers’ table to the royal courts of England”. Almost five years later a second Dinner opened in Melbourne and has won many accolades in Australia.

According to The Royal Atlantis, the idea behind this restaurant stems from Blumenthal’s fascination with history and gastronomy which goes back in the late 90’s after reading a 15-century manuscript known as The Vivendier.

Blumenthal says that “it is not often that an opportunity in such a perfect space comes along.  The backdrop is outstanding and the views of the Dubai skyline over the Persian Gulf are quite unique.  Ashley [Palmer-Watts] and I are looking forward to creating something quite special for our guests to enjoy”.

Heston Blumenthal and Ashley Palmer Watts, the executive chef of 'Dinner'. (Photo: Supplied)

Located on the crescent of The Palm, The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences offers luxury accommodation and a “sophisticated lifestyle experience encapsulated in dramatic architecture”.

Serge Zaalof, Chief Operating Officer for Atlantis Resorts & Residences says “The superb culinary offering at The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences will lie at the property’s heart. This is the first of many exciting culinary introductions and we look forward to wowing our guests and residents with what is sure to be one of the most talked about restaurants in the region.”

Hotel spaces present scenic views of the ocean and the Dubai city skyline, and guests can enjoy private gardens and terraces with their own pools, a rooftop infinity pool suspended 90 meters above The Palm, private beaches and world-class restaurants with award-winning celebrity chefs.

If Dubai is not on your travel agenda anytime soon, then check out these local and international award-winning restaurants to visit on your next adventure.

Restaurants to add to your travel bucket-list

Test Kitchen – Cape Town, Western Cape

South African Luke Dale-Robert's Test Kitchen made the World's Best 50 Restaurants in 2015 and even rose a few places on the list in 2016. While the restaurant has a string of awards, its most recent one is clinching the title of "Restaurant of the Year" at the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards in 2017.

If you plan on making a reservation at the restaurant, be sure to do so at least 6-months in advance! And while you're there, be sure to try out the "drought menu". 

ALSO SEE: Foodies delight: One Star House party pops up in Cape Town

Granny Mouse Country House – Midlands, KZN

The Eaves restaurant at Granny Mouse in the lush KwaZulu-Natal Midlands boasts an award-winning menu and wine list, and fine-dining romantic charm. If serenity is what you are looking for, then this is escape you are looking for.

SEE: #WinterEscape: The marvelous Midlands Mouse

Delaire Graff Estate – Stellenbosch, Western Cape

When visiting the Western Cape, make a stop at Delaire Graff Estate which overlooks the Helshoogte Mountains just outside Stellenbosch. It has been listed as one of the restaurants with the Best Views in the World.

MUST- SEE: SA Winelands restaurant listed as one of the world’s best places to dine with a view

Eleven Madison Park – New York

Holding the title of World’s Best Restaurant in 2017, Eleven Madison Park is also the Best Restaurant in North America and is known for its cuisine being “elevated to art forms”.

According to The World’s Best 50, what makes this restaurant special is “the perfect partnership of outstanding hospitality and exquisite food in an iconic setting in New York City”.

Gaggan – Bangkok

While seventh on The World’s Best 50 list, Gaggan is number one in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants for three consecutive years.

World’s Best 50 attributes this to the chef’s reinvention and creativity, saying “Chef Gaggan Anand has consistently transformed his tasting menu, developing conversation-starting dishes like the spherified Yoghurt Explosion and creating a dining experience that reflects the warmth of Thai hospitality in Bangkok.”

SEE: Street food stalls make first Michelin Guide Bangkok + SA's must-visit street food spots

Osteria Francescana - Italy

In Italy – which is arguably the world’s food capital – one cannot miss a visit to Osteria Francescana, which has been named Europe’s Best Restaurant in 2017 and ranks number two on the World’s Best 50 list for 2017.

Situated in Modena, the restaurant almost closed after locals were resistant to the chef’s daring approach to cooking. However, World’s Best 50 calls the restaurant “a reinvention of Italian cuisine by a famously passionate chef”.

Central - Peru

Ranking number five on World’s Best 50 list for 2017, together with the title of Best Restaurant in South America for 2017, Central has become “one of the globe’s must-visit dining destinations, while chef Virgilio Martínez has led a new generation of Peruvian cooks”.

Each item on the menu boasts a taste of Peru’s landscape and biodiversity, offering diners a unique experience into Peru’s tastes, smells and sights.

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