Ina bid to turn the idea of pop-up restaurants on its head, an award-winning Finish chef has opened a unique eaterie in an old mine shaft, 80 meters underground. Obviously, it’s called a “pop-down” restaurant.
“‘Pop-down’ is such a unique idea that I just had to do it,” chef Timo Linnamaki said on Monday, before his first clients descended to the bottom of the mine shaft in the town of Lohja, Finland. ”It’s great working down here because you are totally cut off from the world, so nothing distracts from the cooking.” The idea of preparing food so far below ground was all part of being close to the earth, but the talented cook admits this is by far the weirdest place he has ever prepared his dishes and that it would be very difficult to find something on par. The 115-year-old mine chosen as the location for this unique pop-down restaurant goes down to a depth of 380 meters where limestone is still mined, for the chemical industry. But that didn’t seem to scare off customers, as the 64-seat restaurant is already fully booked until September 29, when the crazy underground cooking experiment ends.
Photo © Reuters
Blue lights cast eerie shadows on the ceiling and walls of the temporary mine shaft restaurant, but none of the guests seem to mind. After all, they paid for exactly this kind of atmosphere, and they’re being treated to fine cuisine, including salted salmon, veal tenderloin snails cooked in Pernod, and apple crumble. A four-course meal, plus drinks and transportation down to the mine and back up will set you back €128 ($160), but everyone seems happy to fork out the cash for such a unique experience.
Photo © Reuters
Pop-up restaurants around the world give chefs the chance to experiment without fear of going bankrupt, and the same goes for Linnamaki, whose restaurant Muru – “crumb” in Finnish – won this year’s gourmet title in Finland only two years after it opened, says this experience has really inspired him to take on new challenges.