Dear Sally, We’re tired of all the foam, miniscule morsels and molecular gastronomy and foraging in the upper echelons of fine dining. Not mention the cost. We want to go somewhere really different for my husband Stanley’s 50th birthday. He has a slight cholesterol problem, farts like a trooper and don’t get me started on the reflux, but otherwise he’s good to go. What can you recommend? Yours sincerely, Annabelle.
I do sympathize. Upper crust dining costs an arm and a leg these days. You practically have to mortgage your house for a decent 16-course degustation dinner with matching wines. But you’re in luck! I’ve just been on a little vacay, saucing (!) the wackiest eateries I can find, and here’s a list.
BEIRUT: At Buns & Guns in Beirut, the theme is military (I always did like a man in uniform), from the names of the food to the decor. The background music which is a throbbing helicopter beat. The staff wear camouflage fatigues.You can order a Mortar burger, a Terrorist Meal or an M16 Carbine meat sandwich. The restaurant’s slogan is: Sandwiches Can Kill You.
TAIPEI: Meanwhile, Modern Toilet restaurant in Taipei might turn your tummy. Diners sit on toilet bowls and eat poo shaped chocolate soft-serve ice cream in tiny toilet bowls. Drinks are served in miniature urinals, and the napkins are toilet rolls. Classy.
BEJING: At Beijing’s Pitch Black, diners eat in the dark. No mobile phones permitted. The waiters wear night-vision goggles so they can at least serve the right food to the right people. I don’t know how people order from the menu.
BANGKOK: Cabbages & Condoms in Bangkok, Thailand is all about contraception. It offers condoms to departing diners. Well, makes a change from chocolates. Their slogan, splashed on t-shirts is: “Our food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy”. The menu includes the Spicy Condom Salad.
TOKYO: Brace yourselves. Nyotaimori is named after the Japanese tradition of eating sushi and sashimi off a nude woman’s body. This place takes the cake. An edible body, with dough skin and sauce blood is wheeled into the dining room on a hospital gurney. After it’s plonked in front of the diners, the waitress cuts into the body with a scalpel and then everyone digs in, operating on the body to reveal edible organs. Yummy.
Sorry to hear about Stanley’s messy digestion, but surely one of these will do. Otherwise you may have to take out a second mortgage and go on a long waiting list to eat at Noma in Denmark, which has once again just been voted the world’s top restaurant. Bon appetit, and pass the heartburn pills. If you choose that place in Tokyo, you’re going to need a strong stomach. Oh wait, that’s not Stanley’s strong suit, is it?
Graciously yours, Sally.
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