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FACT Review: Sublimotion, the “world’s most expensive dining destination”

Sublimotion at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira seats just 12 guests and is priced at AED 5,000 per head.

We’re standing in a room that resembles a library waiting to be dazzled. We know we’re about to be immersed in what has been referred to as the “world’s most exclusive dining destination”, and there’s a sense of trepidation and excitement. We are, of course, at Sublimotion.

Sublimotion is an exclusive dinner experience revered worldwide as a dinner show with a difference and one reserved for those with enough cash to splash. We only know one of our twelve dining companions for the evening. Yet, as we try to (unsuccessfully) eat a delicate piece of puff pastry topped with smoked salmon that’s shaped like a star, we know we’re in for a night to remember.

Sublimotion review

Sublimotion is back for a second (final) season and is the perfect fit for one of Dubai’s most luxe addresses, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai. Sublimotion began in Ibiza in 2014 and quickly gained widespread recognition thanks to the collaborative efforts of Paco Roncero, the owner and chef of the two-Michelin-starred Paco Roncero Restaurante in Madrid and Eduardo Gonzales, the co-founder and creative director of Vega Factory.

As we leave the library down a dark passageway and enter the dining room, we’re met with 360-degree imagery projected onto virtually every surface, from the walls to the table. It feels as if we’ve stepped into a mirror or onto the deck of a futuristic spaceship as the room emanates an alluring purple glow and our names pulsate in a dancing font to indicate where we should be seated. It’s safe to say we’re in awe.

While we won’t spoil the surprises of Sublimotion’s multi-sensory pop-up with a blow-by-blow account, we will say that you should prepare to be impressed. Perceptions are played with, the room reassembles around diners as they eat, and an expert team of 25 chefs, designers, directors, technicians and performers contribute to a show-stopping experience that redefines the notion of dinner and a show.

Molecular gastronomy and haute cuisine combine across ten courses with an exciting beverage pairing, as diners are guided through an immersive journey that travels from the plains of Africa (where we eat short rib from atop a rhino horn) to the streets of São Paulo, where a carnival atmosphere complete with Samba dancers awaits. 

Sublimotion review

Yet it’s the theatricality rather than the food that we will remember most fondly. One course is served inside a mirrored device and must be scraped out using an elongated spoon, while another arrives at the table suspended on wires.

Sublimotion’s ability to surprise and astound guests time and again is all part of the charm. A course is served whilst guests wear a VR headset, allowing the room to transform into a picnic inspired by “somewhere over the rainbow” while diners are immersed in the virtual world. Another course is served on a makeshift aeroplane, complete with tickets, tray tables and a dance routine to Britney’s Spears Toxic music video.

But is Sublimotion a case of style over substance? Sure, the venue is targeting a very specific and influential crowd. But diners can expect premium ingredients from caviar to edible gold that only help to elevate the excitement of this one-of-a-kind dining experience. 

Sublimotion review

Admittedly, not all of the ten courses are a hit for us, with some courses being perhaps a little too audacious for our palate. However, should you have the opportunity to dine at the exclusive 12-seat table, you shouldn’t pass up the chance for two and a half hours of sheer amazement.

Instagram may have provided a peek into the world of Sublimotion, where legs without a body push a drinks trolley around a futuristic dining room. It may be expensive, but you must experience the charms of Sublimotion for yourself. Just go with the flow and prepare to be astounded.

Sublimotion offers two daily shows (6:30pm and 9:30pm), each priced at AED 5,000 per seat, including unlimited premium beverages. Meanwhile, the soft drinks and mocktails package is AED 3,500 per seat.

GO: Visit www.sublimotiondubai.com for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As the editor-in-chief for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David Tapley is a self-proclaimed Hip-Hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and KSA.

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