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World’s first underwater restaurant celebrates 11 years
10/Mar/2016
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Having been unveiled in April 2005, Ithaa is the world’s first undersea restaurant.



Boasting unrivalled views of sharks, stingrays, turtles and stunning coral, the five-star eatery, which only seats 14, was built so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the ocean without getting their feet wet. Rated 'the most beautiful restaurant in the World’ by the New York Daily News in 2014, Ithaa - meaning 'mother of pearl' in the Maldivian language of Divehi – offers 180-degrees of panoramic views.



“Using aquarium-inspired architecture, Ithaa was built to allow guests to enjoy the colour, clarity and beauty of the Indian Ocean from a whole new perspective, said Lyle Lewis, general manager. Since its opening we’ve welcomed over 150,000 guests, served over 1.2 million glasses of champagne and witnessed over 300 proposals, with over 350 weddings being hosted at the restaurant to date.



“We’re proud to remain within some of the top restaurant categories in the world and not just for the awe-inspiring design- our food is based on contemporary European cuisine from award winning chefs that you can’t find anywhere else in the Maldives.



Dishes such as Maldivian lobster carpaccio with reef fish tartare and poached quail egg are available on the set seven-course dinner menu, whilst the four-course set lunch menu includes short loin of lamb, marinated white asparagus, tomato relish, smoked cherry mozzarella, lime and caramel jus.



Designed by Mike Murphy of M J Murphy in New Zealand, who specialises in aquarium technology, the structure, which has a cost of $5 million, qualifies as the world's largest aquarium tunnel and has never had water inside. Instead, it was built on dry land in Singapore before being transported on the back of an ocean-going barge, lowered into the water and weighed down with 85 tonnes of sand ballast.



The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is home to the largest selection of dining outlets in the country. A true gourmet's delight, the island boasts a choice of 12 restaurants and bars featuring unique and individual menus, including the newly opened Ufaa by Chinese celebrity chef Jereme Leung.



It was also the first resort to build an underground wine cellar; the first to invite world-class chefs and winemakers to its islands and the first to establish a cheese bar. Conrad Maldives continues to offer the largest wine list in the region with over 20,000 bottles of approximately 1,400 labels in The Wine Cellar, built two metres underground.



To commemorate its 11th anniversary, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant will host a grand celebrations on April 15. Guests will enjoy a specially designed seven course degustation matched with Grand Cru Burgundy from Domaine Vincent Giardin. The dinner will be priced at $395 per person.
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