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One of the world’s youngest and most popular chefs has called some nameless stilt restaurants off Mactan Island in Cebu as among the best in the world.
“It’s the hospitality and the service that make the experience,” Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton tells UK’s The Telegraph.
The three stilt restaurants sit 20 feet above water. The diner is given a snorkel and a pair of goggles and then taken underneath the restaurant — yup, into the water — “where there are nets and you can choose your fish straight from the water.”
He continues: “They’ve got baby scallops, oysters, everything, and they’ll scoop up whatever you want, barbecue it and serve it with coconut vinegar, soy sauce, chili and ginger. That’s it — you eat it with garlic rice and papaya salad. It’s simple, delicious, unadulterated.”
Atherton says you can get to the island by hiring a boat from Shangri-La Mactan hotel. Cebu, by the way, is his wife’s hometown.
Well-traveled and armed with a good palate, he’s also named Flocons de Sel in France, La Madia in Sicily, Eleven Madison Park in New York, Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo, as his top restaurants in the world.
Atherton has worked under celebrated chefs Marco Pierre White, Ferran Adria and Gordon Ramsay before opening Table No. 1, in Shanghai, China. From then, he has been building an empire, setting up successful restaurants in different international cities, including Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social in London, Esquina in Singapore and Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong.
He has 15 restaurants all over the world, the latest of which is Marina Social in Dubai.
(Header photo: gq-magazine.co.uk)