The world's strangest restaurants
Originally published 04 June 2012
Modern Toilet Restaurant, Taiwan
Quirk: You sit on toilets and your food is served to you in toilets. However in the restaurant toilet you do your business on a plate!
History: Successful owner Eric Wang has opened up a string of similarly themed restaurants across Taiwan and has expanded into Japan and Hong Kong.
First question you’re likely to get asked? Go ‘pee pee’ or ‘poo poo’?
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Modern toilet hot pot combination.
Dans Le Noir, Clerkenwell, London
Quirk: You sit in the dark with 59 other diners while the waiters – who are blind – serve you. The idea is to re-evaluate your sense of taste and smell.
History: Founded in Paris in 2004 with the support of the Paul Guinot Foundation for Blind People. You can now eat in a restaurant blind in Zurich, Koln, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Montreal and Finland.
First question you’re likely to get asked? Can I help you to your table?
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Surprise menus – choose between ‘White’ – chefs menu, ‘Blue’ – fish and seafood, ‘Green – vegetarians, ‘Red’ – meat eaters.
Condoms and Cabbages, Bangkok, Thailand
Quirk: Staff promote the health and safety aspects of condom use in a fun and amusing manner. Their food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy!
History: The restaurant was conceptualised to promote better understanding and acceptance of family planning and to generate income to support various development activities of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA, a non profit organisation in Thailand.
First question you’re likely to get asked? Do you practice safe sex?! (not really)
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Typical Thai cuisine including curries, soups and salads.
Ithaa Restaurant, Conrad Rangali, Maldives
Quirk: The world’s first all-glass undersea dining venue. The restaurant is 16 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean. A 180 degree acrylic see-through dome is all that comes between you and tropical fish, sharks and other marine life..
History: Twice voted best hotel in the world, food lovers and connoisseurs of wine will relish the resort’s seven restaurants and four bars serving delicious international cuisine. The resort was built in 2005 and to celebrate their 5th anniversary it has been mentioned that the restaurant can be converted into the ultimate honeymoon suite for newlyweds complete with champagne breakfast.
First question you’re likely to get asked? Would you like to see the seafood menu?
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Maldivian-western fusion cuisine – probably of a mostly fishy nature! There wasn’t a menu on the website.
Dinner in the Sky, worldwide
Quirk: Guests are seat belted to a table that is attached to a crane before being elevated 165 feet into the sky where they hover while enjoying a luxurious meal. Other options include marriage in the sky, cocktails in the sky and an internet café in the sky.
History: The concept originated in Belgium and has now been rolled out worldwide.
First question you’re likely to get asked? I hope you’re not scared of heights?
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Whatever you desire, from cocktails and tapas to five course meals. The sky’s the limit.
Guolizhaung (Penis Restaurant), China
Quirk: Nearly every dish at this restaurant is served with a penis. Dog, yak, donkey or seal – take your pick.
History: The restaurant opened in 2006 and there are four franchises in Beijing with plans to expand to the US.
First question you’re likely to get asked? Which penis do you fancy?
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Guess….steamed, roasted or boiled – your choice! Apparently they’re supposed to increase male potency…
New Lucky Restaurant, India
Quirk: Operating close to 60 years and known locally as the 'graveyard restaurant', this cafe in the Indian city of Ahmadabad is built over a centuries-old Muslim cemetary. The graves aren't hidden under floorboards either. They're shin high, painted green and between the tables. The owner decorates each of them with a single flower every morning.
History: New Lucky started off as a small tea stall next to an old Muslim graveyard in Ahmadabad. It was so successful that the then owner K.H. Mohammed expanded the walls of his stand to include the prime real estate next door – along with a dozen or so graves.
First question you’re likely to get asked? Come and rest a while, we’ll put some meat on your bones!
What you’re likely to find on the menu: The soft buttery rolls and milky teas are to die for.
Izakaya Kayabuki, Japan
Quirk: Owner Kaoru Otsuka runs his restaurant using his pet monkeys in Utsonomiya and business is booming. Tipping is required but only in soya beans!
History: Owner Otsuka insists he never trained the monkeys but they learnt from watching him at work. “Yat-chan” is dressed in a shirt and shorts and takes customers’ drink orders and then delivers them to the diners’ tables. The younger macaque monkey takes hot towels to clients before they order their drinks.
First question you’re likely to get asked? I hope you don’t mind having a monkey on your head while you eat?!
What you’re likely to find on the menu: Traditional Japanese style ‘sake-house’ restaurant.
To plan an itinerary around a visit to one of these restaurants phone our specialists on 01993 838 000 or make an enquiry online.
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