At the Norwegian restaurant Under, if you ask for a table by the window…
…that’s your view. And “that” – would be the North Sea, from about 16 feet below the surface.
The “secret sauce” at Under is acrylic plastic – not on your fish (and yes, it IS a seafood restaurant) – but in that 13 foot-high window (13 by 36, by the way, so that’s a LOT of acrylic).
An American company, Reynolds Polymer Technology, built the window – using acrylic (specifically, polymethyl methacrylate, or PMMA) because it was strong enough to survive North Sea waves and weather, and clear enough to show off that incredible view.
And the “secret sauce” in PMMA – is either the petrochemical ethylene or propylene. Refined from petroleum (or natural gas), ethylene or propylene is the starting point for a series of chemical reactions that wind up in this case, producing a 13-foot tall acrylic window.
Now you can’t point out that window at a passing crab or fish, and tell your server, “I’ll have that one.” But you might well see crabs and lobsters, dogfish and urchins, pollack and cod, and maybe a wrasse or two, all swimming just on the other side of the window. And what you see today, might be on someone else’s plate the next day.
If you’d like to see Under for yourself, you’ll find it in Lindesnes, which is the southern tip of Norway; here’s the link for booking a table. Word is though, they’re full up into August. But you know what they say about autumn in Norway…