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A dining experience like nothing on Earth: Posh restaurant opens inside a giant ‘orb-like UFO’ in the middle of a Norwegian fjord – and it’s created a feeding frenzy on TikTok

It looks like a crashed spaceship – but it’s actually the site for one of the world’s most extreme restaurants.

Inside a giant silvery orb located in Hardangerfjord – the second-longest fjord in Norway at 179km (111 miles) in length – is Restaurant Iris, which offers a dining experience like nothing on Earth.

The four-storey structure, inspired it turns out by the shape of a fish eye, is called Salmon Eye. It opened in the latter half of 2022 as one of the world’s largest ‘enterable’ floating art installations – an experience centre ‘dedicated to informing the world [about] sustainable seafood’.

It’s covered in 9,000 steel plates to give it a fish-scale look, weighs 1,256 tonnes, has a diameter of 25 metres (82ft) – and has one floor that’s sub-surface. Quite something to behold.

But it was the opening of Restaurant Iris – named for its location in the middle of the ‘fish eye’ – in spring of this year that put the building on the map. And created a feeding frenzy on TikTok.

It looks like a crashed spaceship – but this is actually the site for one of the world's most extreme restaurants It looks like a crashed spaceship – but this is actually the site for one of the world's most extreme restaurants

It looks like a crashed spaceship – but this is actually the site for one of the world’s most extreme restaurants 

At the restaurant, which can only be accessed by boat, guests are treated to ‘an exclusive expedition dining-journey’, a statement explains, which revolves around an 18-course meal. Dinner is served with a ‘panorama view over the fiord, glaciers, and mountains’.

One eye-opening video of the spectacular restaurant has racked up more than eight million views.

Mari Eriksmoen, the diner that posted the video, said that walking inside the eatery ‘felt like entering a spaceship’.

The structure could be likened to the craft from sci-fi classic Flight of the Navigator, though TikTok user ‘janibek‘ compared it to the mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft from the 2016 sci-fi film Arrival.

Others, meanwhile, compared the dining experience to The Menu, a 2022 horror film that sees a group of dinner guests eat at an exclusive restaurant on a remote island, with horrific consequences.

This giant silvery orb is located in Hardangerfjord and houses Restaurant Iris, which offers a dining experience like nothing on Earth This giant silvery orb is located in Hardangerfjord and houses Restaurant Iris, which offers a dining experience like nothing on Earth

This giant silvery orb is located in Hardangerfjord and houses Restaurant Iris, which offers a dining experience like nothing on Earth 

Guests are treated to ‘an exclusive expedition dining-journey’ that revolves around an 18-course meal Guests are treated to ‘an exclusive expedition dining-journey’ that revolves around an 18-course meal

Guests are treated to ‘an exclusive expedition dining-journey’ that revolves around an 18-course meal

An eye-opening video of the unusual restaurant, captured by diner Mari Eriksmoen, has created a storm on TikTok, racking up more than eight million views An eye-opening video of the unusual restaurant, captured by diner Mari Eriksmoen, has created a storm on TikTok, racking up more than eight million views The eatery is only accessible by boat The eatery is only accessible by boat

An eye-opening video of the unusual restaurant, captured by diner Mari Eriksmoen, has created a storm on TikTok, racking up more than eight million views. The eatery is only accessible by boat 

User ‘sanjuanera287‘ said: ‘Did we learn nothing from The Menu?’ And ‘mayariiramaria‘ added: ‘This is literally The Menu.’

The 24-seat culinary destination is run by Head Chef Anika Madsen, who has a ‘passion for discovering new ingredients from the ocean’ and a ‘commitment to sustainability’, according to a statement.

The dining experience begins when guests are picked up by electric boat from the shore of nearby town Rosendal.

The four-storey structure is called Salmon Eye. It opened in the latter half of 2022 as one of the world's largest 'enterable' floating art installations The four-storey structure is called Salmon Eye. It opened in the latter half of 2022 as one of the world's largest 'enterable' floating art installations

The four-storey structure is called Salmon Eye. It opened in the latter half of 2022 as one of the world’s largest ‘enterable’ floating art installations 

One TikTok user compared the restaurant to mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft from the 2016 sci fi film Arrival (above) One TikTok user compared the restaurant to mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft from the 2016 sci fi film Arrival (above)

One TikTok user compared the restaurant to mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft from the 2016 sci fi film Arrival (above) 

The interior of the boats that whisk diners to the eatery The interior of the boats that whisk diners to the eatery Diners enjoy a ‘panorama view over the fiord, glaciers, and mountains’ Diners enjoy a ‘panorama view over the fiord, glaciers, and mountains’

Pictured left is the interior of the boats that whisk diners to the eatery. During their meal, diners enjoy a ‘panorama view over the fiord, glaciers, and mountains’

Once inside 'Salmon Eye', the evening kicks off with a 'multisensory experience' Once inside 'Salmon Eye', the evening kicks off with a 'multisensory experience' TikToker Eriksmoen reveals that guests are shown a 'short movie about food waste' and instructed to pick a 'cracker' from a string that's hanging from the ceiling TikToker Eriksmoen reveals that guests are shown a 'short movie about food waste' and instructed to pick a 'cracker' from a string that's hanging from the ceiling

Once inside ‘Salmon Eye’, the evening kicks off with a ‘multisensory experience’, during which, TikToker Eriksmoen reveals, guests are shown a ‘short movie about food waste’ and instructed to pick a ‘cracker’ from a string that’s hanging from the ceiling 

They make a pit stop at chef Madsen’s boathouse on the nearby island of Snilstveitoy for a ‘welcoming snack’, before getting dropped off at the restaurant for the meal.

Once inside ‘Salmon Eye’, the evening kicks off with a ‘multisensory experience’, during which, TikToker Eriksmoen reveals, guests are shown a ‘short movie about food waste’ and instructed to pick a ‘cracker’ from a string that’s hanging from the ceiling.

The 18-course menu is designed to showcase ‘the most local ingredients possible’.

Above is an intriguing-looking breaded salmon dish served at the restaurant Above is an intriguing-looking breaded salmon dish served at the restaurant

Above is an intriguing-looking breaded salmon dish served at the restaurant 

Above is a menu item called 'Change of Heart' that features tartar of reindeer heart, grilled leeks and pickled capers Above is a menu item called 'Change of Heart' that features tartar of reindeer heart, grilled leeks and pickled capers

Above is a menu item called ‘Change of Heart’ that features tartar of reindeer heart, grilled leeks and pickled capers 

A statement reveals: ‘The experience blends gastronomy and activism on a global scale' A statement reveals: ‘The experience blends gastronomy and activism on a global scale'

A statement reveals: ‘The experience blends gastronomy and activism on a global scale’

Hardangerfjord is the second-longest fjord in Norway at 179km (111 miles) in length Hardangerfjord is the second-longest fjord in Norway at 179km (111 miles) in length

Hardangerfjord is the second-longest fjord in Norway at 179km (111 miles) in length

A statement reveals: ‘The experience blends gastronomy and activism on a global scale… the menu at Iris reads like a story. A story about the challenges and threats to the global food system, but also with ideas and suggestions for future innovations, that can help bring us closer to solving them.’

In a YouTube video, restaurateur Alexander Varga revealed some of the dishes he was served during a recent visit to the restaurant, with the footage showing how the cuisine is just as inventive as the restaurant’s design.

They include ‘Colourblind’ – a dish of ceviche-style white salmon with birch sap and elderflower; an intriguing-looking breaded salmon dish; and a menu item called ‘Change of Heart’ that features tartar of reindeer heart, grilled leeks and pickled capers.

The tasting menu at the restaurant is priced at £246 (3,200 Norwegian Krone/$316) The tasting menu at the restaurant is priced at £246 (3,200 Norwegian Krone/$316)

The tasting menu at the restaurant is priced at £246 (3,200 Norwegian Krone/$316)

When the weather is fine, one of the courses is grilled over an open fire and served on the venue’s rooftop terrace When the weather is fine, one of the courses is grilled over an open fire and served on the venue’s rooftop terrace

When the weather is fine, one of the courses is grilled over an open fire and served on the venue’s rooftop terrace

The 24-seat culinary destination is run by Head Chef Anika Madsen (above), who has a 'passion for discovering new ingredients from the ocean' and a 'commitment to sustainability' The 24-seat culinary destination is run by Head Chef Anika Madsen (above), who has a 'passion for discovering new ingredients from the ocean' and a 'commitment to sustainability'

The 24-seat culinary destination is run by Head Chef Anika Madsen (above), who has a ‘passion for discovering new ingredients from the ocean’ and a ‘commitment to sustainability’ 

When the weather is fine, one of the courses is grilled over an open fire and served on the venue’s rooftop terrace.

TikToker Eriksmoen notes that it’s ‘not cheap’, however, with a tasting menu priced at £246 (3,200 Norwegian Krone/$316) and an optional wine pairing for £192 (2,500 Norwegian Krone/$247).

Those who want to visit Salmon Eye – but don’t want to dine at Restaurant Iris – can buy a ticket for a ‘learning experience‘ at the centre, which teaches visitors about the ‘footprint of the Norwegian aquaculture industry and food production at sea’. The two-hour experience is priced at £27 (349 Norwegian Krone/$34).

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