If there’s one thing our mothers taught us all, it was to never leave the bathroom without washing your hands first – especially if we were getting ready to eat. It didn’t matter if we were at home or out in a restaurant, the bathroom and the kitchen were two places where the boundaries never blurred. So, pray tell – what happens when the dining room is purposely designed to look like a bathroom?
The Modern Toilet Diner
That thought, amongst others we’re sure, is sure to cross your mind the moment you step into the Modern Toilet diner Taipei. One of a chain of themed restaurants littering the island, the restaurant was designed to capture the imagination with humor every visitor sits on a toilet and leans over a glass topped wash basin or bathtub while enjoying his meal.
If the d?cor isn’t enough, wait until you receive your food. Regardless of what delicious entr?e you order, your food is going to arrive in a bowl shaped like either a Western toilet or an Asian “squat pot.” Eating out of a toilet bowl while sitting on one at the same time is something you’ve probably never considered, but here’s your chance – and it’s more popular than you might think! Simply imagine what would go through your mind if you ordered a dish of chocolate ice cream and received it in a small toilet bowl.
Are Themed Restaurants Really That Popular?
Oddly enough, themed restaurants are all the rage in Taipei. Other restaurant themes in the area include hospitals and jailhouses. Visitors tend to enjoy getting away from the regular everyday monotony of life and eating in a fun-filled atmosphere.
The 100-seat restaurant is usually full to capacity and diners often walk around snapping pictures of the wall hangings, tables, seats, and more. If you thought eating from a toilet bowl was strange, consider what it will be like to wipe your hands on a toilet roll that has been hung above your table. Does everyone share the same toilet paper? It’s the creative theme and good food that draws visitors back on a regular basis.
Catering to a Different Crowd
The Modern Toilet caters to a younger crowd, usually ranging in age from 15 up to 35. There are three major universities in the area so the owner, Wang Tzi-wei, can count on the curious intentions of the college crowd to keep him busy. He feels as though many older people simply don’t “get it” or appreciate the fine blend of humor and art that went into creating the facility.
Not everyone agrees with the concept, of course. Even a few members of the newer generation are somewhat turned off by the Modern Toilet. A different brand of humor appeals to each personality, and for some the toilet just isn’t funny. To some, the food really does look like feces – but rest assured its not. One young ward boxed his food and left without finishing, unable to stomach the idea of eating his meal out of a squat pot.
The Evolution of the Modern Toilet
Wang Tzi-wei was inspired in 2004 after watching a famous Japanese cartoon. The cartoon featured a restaurant that displayed a somewhat disturbing number of toilet images. From there, a brilliant idea was born.
The restaurant originally started out serving desserts. Each was complemented with something oozy – like chocolate, berries, or something red and syrupy – to add to the imagery created by the restaurant atmosphere and unique tableware. They later began adding a variety of entrees, including soups and meat dishes designed to look just a little bit chunky in the toilet bowls.
Of course, we can’t forget to mention the drink list – often featuring mentions of bodily excrements as well. Despite the crass nature of the humor used to write the menu, diners visit night after night and don’t seem to mind.
Even the waiters have a great time working their shifts. Donned with t-shirts proudly displaying the WC logo (water closet), they’re always busy and enjoy seeing the different reactions visitors have when they first step into the facilities.
The Modern Toilet may seem a bit odd, but thousands of hungry visitors beg to differ. They’re so popular, in fact, that Wang Tzi-wei and his partners have already begun to consider expansion. The mere 100 toilet seats seem to no longer be enough.
Don’t be disgusted until you try it. Tasteless, tasteful, or just plain creative, the food is still good, despite the names they may choose to give each entr?e or the piles of plastic poop adorning the ledges, displayed like badges of honor. A little bit of humor never really hurt anyone – and a good laugh is often the best medicine for whatever ails us.
So, in the end, only one question remains – where’s the bathroom?