Asia has always had a peculiarly Asian sense of humour. Sometimes it is completely lost of the rest of the world. Fashion trends and music also are extremely different from what we see in the West. This is shown with great clarity in the number of weirdly themed restaurants that are springing up all over the continent.
In Taipei ‘The Marton’ is a toilet themed restaurant. Diners happily sit on toilets whilst enjoying their noodles from bedpans and other commode shaped serving dishes. The tables are glass covered baths and lights and wall decorations are made from urinals. Favourite meals for the diners are curries, and chocolate ice cream, as it looks “appropriate”. The owner Eric Wong said he got the idea from a Japanese cartoon that features a robot doll that enjoys eating excrement ice cream. The Marton proved so popular that he opened a second one within a year of the first.
In Singapore a medical themed restaurant called ‘Aurum’ is proving very popular. Diners enter through the morgue, take their places at operating tables whilst seated in wheel chairs and get their cutlery from a surgical equipment draw. Soups are served through syringes. Needless to say this has brought some criticism. Whilst many claim it is just a bit of fun, using wheelchairs is, to say the least, a little insensitive.
Bangkok has its ‘Cabbages and Condoms’, which has become famous all over the world since it opened in Sukhumvit Soi 12. Diners get condoms instead of after dinner mints and they donate a lot to family planning charities in the country. They give away 6.6 million condoms every year from their now chain of twelve restaurants. New branches are opening soon in Singapore and the States.
Meanwhile back in Taiwan ‘The Jail’ has opened its door. The industrial looking metal floored eatery is proving a huge success with the locals. They dress you up in a striped prison suit and hand cuff you before taking you to your cell. After you place your order the steel barred cell door slams to a close. Sexy waitresses are dressed as prison guards. I can think of a few for whom this might be a bit too close to home to make for a romantic night out.
Medical and prison themes seem to be the most popular amongst this weird new craze. It seems that nothing is taboo in Asia. As the boundary keeps getting pushed further and further, it makes you wonder where it will all lead.