On the south side of Santa Clara lies an up-and-coming eatery that is soon to turn the restaurant industry upside down–or at least underwater: “Made By Sharks” Family Restaurant, a place run by a team of 4- and 5-year-old gastronomical prodigies. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening, and I can say with absolute certainty:
It was yum yum in my tum tum.
Any good dining experience starts with service, and Made By Sharks gives you a personal touch from the moment you walk in the door. After waiting in the alcove for a brief minute, each diner is greeted by their personal waiter for the meal, and is led to the dining area. Then, water is offered–what a perfect touch for an ocean-themed restaurant, as I hear that water is one of the main ingredients of an ocean.
The dining hall is exquisite: thought-provoking sea art hung on the wall, ribbons of blue crepe paper floating overhead to give the impression of being in a kelp forest, seashells scattered about, and each adult diner seated in a child-sized chair to force a perspective of childlike awe that one would experience when scuba diving for the first time. I felt transported to the middle of a deep, friendly ocean.
The sharks in the kitchen have clearly given much thought to every item on the menu. The starter is a nicely-plated duo of toasted seaweed and “Gold Fish.” Now, lest you think these are real goldfish, don’t worry; in fact, they are small crackers with a hint of cheese, made to look like small fish! Modern gastronomy is truly incredible! The saltiness of the seaweed paired nicely with the saltiness of the gold “fish” crackers, and the playful plating gave the impression of fish swimming through the reef.
Next up was the main course. I chose the turkey and cheese sandwich, which came with a side of fruit salad, served on a plate with a sea life motif. Turkey, I have often heard, is the salmon of the land, much like tuna is the chicken of the sea, so turkey and cheese was an excellent choice for the ocean theme. The other option was sunbutter and strawberry jelly, of course representing the sun that shines on the butterfish in the sea, and the straw that a snorkeler would use to breath in said sea to see berry many jelly fish.
I have to point out that having a personalized waiter made this experience something special. Each member of the waitstaff tailored their behavior to meet the exacting desires of their guests. The young lad to my right sampled the food off his guest’s plate to make sure it was good. The boy to my left climbed into his guest’s lap to keep her warm. And my waiter, Theo, refused to eat any of my food, which was exactly my preference.
The final “wave” of food was the dessert. This was the highlight of a fantastically designed menu. Ocean blue jello with a Swedish fish fit in perfectly with the current trend of New Nordic cuisine sweeping the globe. And the sand pudding was a delight that played with the eater’s senses, served out of a sand bucket made to appear like it was full of–you guessed it–sand. But in fact, it was not sand! Unbelievable. The head chef would not share her secrets, but you don’t need to know what’s in the pudding to enjoy it.
All in all, Made By Sharks Family Restaurant is an awe-inspiring wonder, and I imagine that the creators of this restaurant will go on to do some amazing things in their careers. For now though, I recommend trying this restaurant. The food smelt delicious and I had a whale of a time. You otter go to it right away. Made By Sharks Family Restaurant gets my official seal of approval.