Written by Oryx
Not to be confused with secret dining clubs or supper clubs, underground restaurants make the most of below-street spaces. As cities forge ever higher, there are those who instead choose to excite diners with ever more impressively designed spaces and menus that ensure the focus is on the food, not the views. From a subway-station restaurant to the vaults of a bank, Greg Sunning reveals three great spots on our network to head underground.
Why head underground?
Without the distraction of windows and a view, underground restaurants focus elsewhere – on great design, artwork, the menu, atmosphere, and service; all great news for diners. They needn’t be confined to modern cities either – the ancient ‘Eternal City’, Rome, has its history on display in its plethora of underground spaces.
Mott32, Hong Kong
Live it up in the depths of the Standard Chartered bank building in Central, Hong Kong. The award-winning space designed by Joyce Wang channels 1851 New York Chinatown and some European sensibilities. Ingredients sourced from around the world combine in Sichuan, Cantonese, and Beijing dishes in an upscale menu.
Hong Kong, China
Distance: 6,337 km
Flight Time: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Frequency: Twice daily
Sukiyabashi Jiro, Tokyo
Arguably one of the world’s best sushi restaurants, this tiny 10-cover underground restaurant near a subway station entrance has three Michelin stars. The 20-course fixed menu offers some of the freshest fish anywhere, with prices to match. Service is brisk – meals can take just 30 minutes – the interior is unfussy, and the food legendary.
Distance: 8,279 km
Flight Time: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Buddakan, New York
Pass through the wrought-iron entrance, through the buzzy lounge, and descend the double staircase into this vast double-height space. A fabulously designed and popular celebrity haunt, the atmosphere is gloriously vibrant and the menu pan-Asian with a focus on Chinese noodles and dim sum served tapas style.
New York, USA
Distance: 10,792 km
Flight Time: 14 hours, 10 minutes