Why is no one talking about this intriguing restaurant in the Norwegian Fjords?

Why is no one talking about this intriguing restaurant in the Norwegian Fjords?

Accessible only by boat, Iris Restaurant can be found inside a floating art installation reminiscent of a bouyant silver orb
25 July 23
Iris Restaurant within the Salmon Eye Image source: Tor Hveem: Instagram Salmon Eye

Iris Restaurant is a curious addition to the world of fine dining.

Floating in the middle of the fjords, Iris Restaurant is arguably the most interesting and intriguing restaurant in the world right now - and no one seems to be talking about it.

Completed in 2022, the construction glistens in the sunlight and against the shimmering surface of the water, particularly as the double curved ellipsoid design has a facade covered in almost 10,000 stainless steel plates

With a futuristic, sci-fi exterior, this structure is known as the Salmon Eye, Iris Restaurant is technically located within an art installation.

Consisting of four levels, including one floor that lies beneath the water's surface, the building's shape undeniably links the name of the artistic building (Salmon Eye) with the restaurant name (Iris), the structure is complete with a dark, centred 'iris' and 'glint' when viewed from above.

The Concept & The Talent

Iris Restaurant is a relatively new addition to the landscape of luxury dining, and once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences as the destination restaurant only welcomed its first patrons on June 21, 2023.

At the helm of this extremely intriguing restaurant is Danish chef, Anika Madsen. Chef Madsen began her culinary career at 17, and continues to be passionate about sustainability, and sourcing ingredients directly from the local surrounds, including the sea.

Pivoting on the ethos of sustainability, restaurant invites diners to experience 'Expedition Dining' for perhaps the first time: simply put, aiming to bring diners closer to the ingredients rather than the other way around. Ingredients are sourced directly from the Fjord upon which the Salmon Eye structure sits, the adjacent seas and the nearby farmlands and mountainous areas.

A multi-sensory and multi-storey dining experience, guests may be requested to move up or down a floor for different courses, in order to enhance the senses and overall expedition. One level of the restaurant is below sea-level, directly connecting the diner with the local environment.

The evening culminates in the dining room, where awe-inspiring vistas of the fjord and majestic mountain ranges serve as a breathtaking backdrop for an exquisite 18-course tasting menu.

Weather permitting, the rooftop terrace can become a captivating open setting for one of the courses, where delicacies are expertly grilled over an open fire, offering a unique al fresco dining experience.

As the evening draws to a close, guests can anticipate another boat ride back to the mainland and the familiar shores of Rosendal.

The Menu

An unfaltering, and unchangeable eighteen course tasting menu is served at Iris Restaurant.

Delicately plated mouthfuls of magic, each dish is designed and thought out to ensure the central ingredient truly shines through. With this in mind, the restaurant does not cater to specific allergies, vegetarians or vegans, and the menu is seafood centric.

"Anticipate curiosity, and a dedication to ingredients."

Iris Restaurant, Norway

The intriguing 18-course tasting menu is priced at a relatively affordable cost of NOK 3200 / SAR 1195 / EUR 290 per person. Beverage pairings, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic are available for an additional cost.

Five Unique Things About Iris

  1. The Structure: Undeniably unique, the structure in which the restaurant sits is nothing short of awe inspiring from every angle.
  2. Accessible by Private Boat Only: Located in the middle of the Hardanger Fjord in western Norway, the only way to reach the remote location is by the restaurant's electric and sustainable boats from the town of Rosendal.
  3. Expedition Not An Experience: Iris Restaurant describe their dining experience an 'expedition'. Each dining slot lasts for six hours, and is referred to as an 'expedition' - aptly accounting for the offshore location, the dining experience aims to be a collective journey of exploration and learning - particularly as the restaurant focusses on fostering a sustainable relationship with the sea, and local environment.
  4. No Dress Code: Due to the relatively remote location of Iris Restaurant, it is recommended that diners dress for the elements experienced on the boat as there is no official dress code in the restaurant.
  5. No Michelin Star - Yet: Surprisingly, this location hasn't been reviewed by Michelin in any capacity, however, we're expecting this unique expedition experience to be on their radar soon.

Book your table here

Hardangerfjorden, 5470 Rosendal, Norway +47 56 57 60 00

All images via @iristherestaurant @salmoneye @ani.kamadsen