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Quirky Restaurants That Think Outside the Box

The act of eating has evolved from being a basic necessity for survival to an experience that can create memories to last a lifetime. Whether it be an unique location or eccentric charm, these quirky restaurants have paved the way for curating sensational experiences that offer more than just food.

By Amber Lai
July 29, 2022


Photo: Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field is an unconventional experience that brings its diners to the source of ingredients, rather than sourcing to a restaurant. The concept not only celebrates the origins of food but also the craftsmanship and the people behind it, whether it be chefs, cheesemakers or even microbrewers. A single long dinner table is set up for just one evening to foster a transient but organic home for human connection. From oyster farms, vineyards to even the Malibu Pier, Outstanding in the Field gathers individuals together in unique venues for an adventure of appreciation.
Outstanding in the Field, various locations around the world 



Photo: Venice Simplon-Orient Express

The Venice Simplon-Orient Express’s iconic navy blue Bar Car ‘3674” is crowned the heart of the train. Toasts of bubbles connect guests together before they head off into one of the opulent restored 1920s dining cars. As the train flashes through the European countryside, its kitchen team connects with local producers for the freshest and most seasonal produce to bring onboard. A spread fit for royalty arrives at each cabin for the perfect lazy morning and a classic afternoon tea service fills the time in between lunch and dinner.
Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, various journeys around the world



Photo: Derrière

Derrière is a hidden home away from home with authentic French cuisine served in its apartment-style concept. Dining tables are set within the landscapes of a bedroom, living room and kitchen to intensify the feeling of being within a quirky residence. On weekends, a buffet counter is loaded with viennoiseries, cheeses and desserts. Its a la carte menu has traditional French classics from bouillabaisse and bouchot mussels to petits farcis. No Parisian establishment would be complete without an extensive wine menu spanning across Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.
Derrière, 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 75003 Paris; +33 1 44 61 91 95



Photo: The Cheese Bar

As the world’s first cheese conveyor belt, The Cheese Bar is an unconventional spin off of traditional sushi bars. Patiently wait as plates of cheese paired with condiments pass you by, just waiting to be picked up. The concept champions British cheese reflected in its regularly changing list of produce that are all sourced from around the UK. Visit its belt on a Wednesday to indulge in bottomless plates or try its other locations for raclette, grilled cheese sandwiches or cheese boards.
Pick & Cheese, Seven Dials Market, Earlham Street, London 



Photo: Room 4 Dessert

Primarily known as a dessert bar, Room 4 Dessert has added to its quirky and enchanting experience by shedding light on the produce it grows in its own nursery. The in-house grown ingredients are the basis to both its seasonal sweet and savoury menu as well as its range of apothecary-inspired cocktails that can accompany the dessert degustation. Its menu pays homage to the flavours of the island, with coconut, coffee, salt and spices standing out as favourites.
Room 4 Dessert, Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kecamatan Ubud, Bali; +62 813 3705 0539



Photo: Tokyo Record Bar

A meal at Tokyo Record Bar is more than just a feed but an admiration for music in Japan, concealing an extensive vinyl collection within its underground 12-seater den. Guests are invited to choose songs, and the DJ curates a custom playlist for each seating. Marrying music and food together is an essential part of its seven-course omakase dinner that is served family style. Playful colours, artwork and cherry blossoms add to the quirkyness of the Japanese restaurant.
Tokyo Record Bar, 127 MacDougal Street, New York; +1 212 420 4777



Photo: Attendant Coffee Roasters

You wouldn’t typically find a quaint specialty coffee shop at the bottom of a Victorian toilet. Unless you’re in Fitzrovia where The Attendant has restored a males toilet from the 1890s to serve its own seasonal espresso blend and home-style brunch and lunch classics. Although it might feel strange being sat at a bar of urinals, chic marble and emerald finishings transform the dark space into an inviting and intriguing hidden gem. Along with the usual caffeinated beverages, you can find a menu of wellness lattes and juices.
Attendant Coffee Roasters, 27A Foley Street, London



Photo: Grand Banks

Climb onboard Grand Banks, a restored fishing fleet from 1942 known as Sherman Zwicker, for a unique experience upon the seas. Its menu focuses on sustainably harvested oysters and is joined with other luxury seafood like caviar, scallops and Maine lobster. Not only does the ocean flow into its food menu but also through nautically-inspired cocktails and decor throughout the boat. Its prime location on the Hudson River gives this oyster bar a first-class view of the sun setting over New York City.
Grand Banks, Pier 25 Hudson River, New York; +1 212 660 6312