Superyacht chefs can cook up a storm, but there's plenty of choice for dining on shore too. Chris Madigan travels the world to find the best restaurants to visit by superyacht in 2021
The World's Best Restaurants in 2021: Where to Dine Away From Your Superyacht
Bonaire may be off the beaten sea lanes – 389 nautical miles west of Grenada to be exact – but visiting allows you to complete the A-B-C by ticking off the islands of Aruba and Curaçao as well. For the gastronaut, another lure has just opened at Delfins Beach Resort on the island – Brass Boer.
It’s the Caribbean outpost of one of Europe’s most remarkable restaurants, the three-starred De Librije in Zwolle, east of Amsterdam. Husband-and-wife team Jonnie and Thérèse Boer have been pioneers of the northern European restaurant scene, applying hyper-modern techniques and idiosyncratic concepts to local ingredients. The choice of Bonaire as location was simple. “We have been coming here on holiday for 20 years,” says Jonnie. “We love diving and in Bonaire you will find one of the most beautiful, quiet and authentic Caribbean islands.” Not to mention some of the best dives sites too.
Some De Librije favourites – langoustine ceviche marinated in kombucha and flambéed, oysters with goats’ cheese and seaweed, or crab with chicken liver and veal heart – are served. But Jonnie has developed locally influenced dishes too: “I’ve even learned to cook with cactus, which grows all over the island.” Be sure to book Table 14 (after the late Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff ’s shirt number – a percentage of the bill goes to his Foundation). It is a secluded cabana over water that seats up to six people, with lights drawing in barracuda and tarpon.
Need to Know: Delfins Beach Resort, 44 Punt Vierkant, Kralendijk, Bonaire, +599 715 5050. Bonaire has anchorages off the capital, Kralendijk; from the quay, it’s a 10-minute drive to Brass Boer.
Image courtesy of Brass Boer.
The absolute must-visit on this list, by happy coincidence, requires the smallest detour from the usual Med milk run. Perched just above the shoreline in Menton is Italian-Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur. The restaurant has had a year to remember – clinching its third Michelin star and topping the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (the first in France to do so).
The 300-metre elevation not only gives Mirazur the view of Menton Bay that inspires its name – roughly “check out the blue” – but also provides equal focus on the land (this is not a blinkered “seafood restaurant”) in the form of stunning gardens. A pre-prandial stroll reveals the care going into growing the best ingredients in the Mediterranean – herb beds, Menton’s famous lemons, an old-growth avocado tree, free-range egg-laying chickens, flavour-packed tomatoes and wild strawberries. Dishes that have caught diners’ attention include squab, spelt and wild strawberries; pigeon with coffee sauce; a large beetroot, baked in salt and thinly carved at the table, with a caviar cream sauce; and sharing bread served with lemon-infused olive oil and a Pablo Neruda poem on the side.
There is, though, no menu. Colagreco explained the decision to the organisers of 50 Best: “At Mirazur we don’t have four seasons, we have 365. We decided to remove menus to be able to change every day.” The dining room is a striking, light-filled hexagonal 1930s modernist building, and an ongoing renovation project (no resting on his laurels for Colagreco – he’s also recently opened Florie’s in Palm Beach) will soon result in a chef’s table too.
Need to Know: 30 Avenue Aristide Briand, Menton, +33 (0) 4 92 41 86 86. It’s five minutes from Port Menton Garavan (for boats under 40 metres), or there is safe anchorage close to Vieux Port. From Monaco, it’s a 40-minute drive.
Image courtesy of Nicolas Lobbestael.
Generic portside “fine dining” restaurants with eye-watering bills can make you yearn for a good neighbourhood restaurant... but the latter can be hit and miss, not to mention inconveniently located. Thankfully, moorings in Melbourne on the Yarra River, deep in the city, are near Lygon Street, where chef Kazuki Tsuya opened his second restaurant in 2018. It has rapidly gained a stellar reputation (albeit no star, as Michelin does not operate in Australia).
Kazuki’s is driven by two Japanese concepts: omotenashi, the philosophy of complete hospitality; and ichi-go ichi-e, by which every moment is unique and to be treasured. The food, however, is modern Australian cuisine with European and Japanese influences, presented with delicate precision. A chicken liver parfait profiterole is sprinkled with plum dust; wagyu beef comes with both bone marrow and miso mustard; while the Pacific pairing of hapuku and abalone is accompanied by serrano ham. The drinks hit their geographical marks too, with French and Victorian wines, sake and rare Japanese whiskies.
In this vibrant university district, Kazuki’s has a calming effect, with an interior of smoky blue-grey tones and clean lines. But for a more complete cocoon, book the 12-person private dining room. Its focal point is a magnificent table made in shou sugi ban style – the traditional Japanese method of charring wood to seal it. “We’ve been able to create a space that highlights our hospitality, our food and all of who we are,” says Tsuya.
Need to Know: Open for lunch Fri-Sun; dinner Tue-Sat. 121 Lygon Street, Carlton, +61 (0)3 9349 2223; 15-minute drive from Melbourne Superyacht Marina.
Image courtesy of Peter Tarasiuk.
Cocina Hermanos Torres
Enigmatic twin chefs Javier and Sergio Torres hit the headlines when their Dos Cielos restaurant in the foodie city of Barcelona gained its second Michelin star in 2017. However, things move fast in the contemporary Spanish (and Catalan and Basque) food scene – after all, Dani García announced he was closing his restaurant three weeks after winning his third Michelin star in 2019 – and Dos Cielos, too, is no more.
Instead, the Torres brothers opened their eponymous Cocina in a new space inside an old tyre factory near Avinguda Diagonal. And they have racked up two stars in as many years. The purpose-designed layout refines the idea of an open kitchen, understanding that the diner doesn’t want to watch every stage of prep. Instead of catching unwanted glimpses of fish-gutting or hearing a stagiaire relentlessly chop onions for an hour, guests watch from tables surrounding the central stations, as chefs finish and plate their dishes.
“Our food is inspired by our personal memories and experiences, including some Catalan dishes,” say the Torres twins. Those featuring at Cocina include the traditional cocido stew with green chickpeas and jamón Ibérico sauce; and local Carabineros (deep red cardinal shrimp) “in a sea of algae”. There is a private dining room with its own facilities and door to the street; or, for a very special experience, two to four people can join Javier and Sergio for a meal in their test kitchen.
Need to Know: Carrer de Taquígraf Serra, 20, Barcelona, +34 (0) 934 10 00 20. A 30-minute taxi ride from Marina Port Vell – ask when booking and the restaurant can arrange a car.
Image courtesy of Cocina Hermanos Torres.
In summer 2019, the former Montauk Yacht Club reopened, transformed into Gurney’s Star Island Resort and Marina – the latter the largest in the Hamptons (with berths for yachts up to 67 metres). With indoor and al fresco tables, Showfish is the archetypal marina restaurant, very much an extension of the yachts and pontoons, but it also has two private dining rooms if you prefer a little more seclusion. Instead of drafting in a celebrity chef from New York, Gurney’s turned to a local. Jeremy Blutstein grew up in the Hamptons’ kitchens. He was 14 when he took his first job in an Amagansett restaurant. When he talks of “long-standing relationships with local suppliers”, he means fishermen and farmers he’s known since he was a child.
He is determined that all the seafood served is caught, not farmed (surprisingly unusual in these parts). Dishes include slightly cured fluke crudo and smoked fish rillette toast, as well as crowd-pleasers such as lobster rolls. There are also several colourful and healthy plant-based dishes, such as spring asparagus and warm carrot salad. “We’re filling a void for local seafood, but it doesn’t stop there – we want to show what we can do with the freshest ingredients,” he says. If you want to branch out, the sister resort, Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, is 15 minutes away by shuttle or hop on the resort’s seaplane to visit Gurney’s third property in Newport, Rhode Island.
Need to Know: Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina, 32 Star Island Rd, Montauk, NY, +1 (631) 668-3133. Marina office +1 (631) 668-3100; VHF Ch 9.
Image courtesy of Sarah Kuszelewicz.
It’s been a busy year for Simon Rogan, the chef from England’s Lake District. A few kilometres from his original two-star L’Enclume in Cartmel, he opened Henrock in Linthwaite House on Lake Windermere. So far, so local. But this followed a new sister restaurant to his Michelin-starred London eatery: Roganic, in Hong Kong – quite a leap. “The culinary scene in Hong Kong is thriving and constantly developing, so it felt like the perfect place to open a new restaurant,” explains Rogan.
As in London and Cartmel, the main restaurant is accompanied by Aulis, a 12-seat chef ’s table, which can be booked exclusively. This space is modern, minimalist and cool (in every sense), with a view to Kowloon as backdrop but the chefs’ creativity and theatricality take centre stage. “It’s an intimate dining experience where the guests chat to the chefs,” says Rogan. “Also, because it’s our development kitchen, guests will often try new dishes before they reach the Roganic menu, so it has a very exclusive feel.”
One dish that debuted in Aulis HK has already become a favourite in Roganic HK – sea urchin custard with caviar. However, diners can expect hints of the Irish Sea (soda bread, stout ice cream) as much as of China. Much of Rogan’s cuisine in the UK relies on supplies from his own farm. He has solved that issue in Hong Kong: “We have found some amazing suppliers in the New Territories and are really impressed by what we can get.”
Need to Know: 255 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2817 8383. A 10-minute walk from Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, if you can moor there, otherwise a 30-minute drive from Gold Coast Marina.
Image courtesy of Aulis.