Are you in a relationship? If so, are you at that point with your partner yet where you’re finally getting comfortable around them, so you start crossing lines you haven’t crossed before? Like when you first let them see you after the run but before the shower? Or you admit to them you once cried because your mum turned off the radio while Mr Blobby’s hit single was playing (I didn’t, by the way. It’s hypothetical.)
Have you, by any chance, reached that point where you’re comfortable spending an evening watching each other consume food deliberately fashioned to look like human faeces?
I’m guessing the overwhelming response to the above is no. That’s as it should be. So I’m slightly saddened to ‘fess up to mine and my husband’s visit to Taipei’s Modern Toilet Restaurant.
Lifted from their website:
‘Harnessing the hitherto untapped potential of the bathroom as a venue for dining, the restaurant is a scatological fantasy land. Owner Wang Zi-Wei has stated that his inspiration came from a robot character in a Japanese cartoon who loved to “play with poop and swirl it on a stick.’
Yes, that’s right. A Taiwanese chap thought, what kind of an environment is missing from the restaurant scene? What could really get people through the door? And he settled on: toilets, poo and wee.
Well I shouldn’t take that sarcastic tone, because it worked. I mean we’ve chosen it over the thousands of excellent restaurants in Taiwan, for a start. And we’re not the only ones. A noisy group nearby is preoccupied with selfies. We sit down beside a couple (please not on a first date), the woman nibbles gingerly at a spoonful of curry from a small toilet bowl (size about suitable for a gnome I reckon).
There’s a pretty brief one sheet menu – a few curries, a burger, and that old vegetarian classic, mushroom spaghetti. Guess that’s what I’ll be having then. At least I know there’s no way of fashioning spaghetti into a turd (I think?!?). We order some bread to start. They’ve made little turds out of dough (A bit like when dog poo used to be white in the eighties? No, don’t think about that Tanya).
‘This tastes alright actually.’ Says Matt.
The waiter dumps my tropical fruit squash in front of me. It’s served in a hospital issue bedpan. It sloshes disconcertingly as I lift it.
I get lost on the way to the toilet because there are toilets everywhere and I’m not sure which ones it is permissible to urinate into. I’m hoping they’re behind a door, but what if this is another ‘quirk’ of the restaurant?
Back at the table, we’re bought the grand finale of our set meal, a curly dollop of very dark brown chocolate ice cream. Bit weird watching Matt eat that.
We forego the toilet themed novelty items on the way out, as tempting as it is to buy a mug shaped like a small toilet (small in this case being more for dinky fairy bums).
This is what I love about Asia. They just go on and do that shit.