Iris : A New Floating Culinary Haven on Norwegian Fjord
Pushing the boundaries of dining, a newly opened restaurant ‘Iris’ in Norway is raising the bar. Located right in the heart of a fjord on a massive sphere referred to as the Salmon Eye, provides unmatched views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. This unique floating restaurant offers an expedition meal where you, as a guest, are taken on a culinary and scenic expedition that lasts for approximately 6 hours.
The experience at Iris is, quite literally, a journey. It starts with a boat trip, which takes 24 guests at a time, from the picturesque town of Rosendal, with a pit stop and welcoming snack at chef Anika Madsen’s boathouse on the island of Snilstveitøy. The goal with this ‘Expedition dining’ is to experience the fiord, the mountains, and the ever-changing elements in the all-encompassing way.
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the futuristic, UFO-esque floating art installation Salmon Eye which is situated in the heart of the Hardangerfjorden. This architectural marvel is adorned with 9,000 steel plates, tipping the scales at a remarkable 1,200 tonnes. In fact, Salmon Eye is the world’s largest floating art installation. It aims to shed light on both the opportunities and challenges of the aquaculture industry, as all food leaves a footprint, both positive and negative.
The menu at Iris reads like a story. The 18 course feast is carefully designed to narrate the story of the worldwide food system and the pressing challenges it faces today. The set menu revolves around the ocean and the surrounding mountains, presenting an environmentally-conscious perspective.
The evening kicks off with a multisensory underwater experience, to culminate in the dining room where stunning views of the fjord and mountain ranges create the backdrop for our set tasting menu. When the weather allows, the rooftop terrace will set the stage for one of the courses, grilled over an open fire and enjoyed in the fresh air.
Head Chef Anika Madsen has a passion for discovering ingredients from the ocean and showcasing the more uncommon produce that surrounds us. Here, in the middle of a fiord, the Danish chef is getting her hands on more varied and exciting fresh seafood, as well as sourcing wild and exciting ingredients from the surrounding mountains. Anika Madsen, says “If I discover a new and intriguing ingredient, I am not afraid to push boundaries – but to showcase it and convince people to love it, it needs to be truly delicious. I will never compromise with flavor.”
At the end of the evening, another boat ride awaits, taking the guests back to familiar shores and a comfortable bed in Rosendal.