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Tawain: toilet restaurants - tacky theme, or interesting anomaly?

$10 bucks says you've never scooped your dinner out of a toilet bowl before. That's how much USD you'll drop on an a typical meal at Modern Toilet—a new lavatory-themed diner that opened its doors last year in the Shilin district of Taiwan's capital city.

At this 12-property chain establishment, design elements reflect the restaurant's unusual premise. The diner's 100 seats are not actual chairs but Western-style commodes. Bathtubs serve as tables; mounted sinks and urinals, as sconces. Gender-specific "WC" signs adorn the walls. Need a napkin? Just rip off a square from your table's provided roll of TP.

As for the menu, there is a direct correlation between dish popularity and a plate's resemblance to the, ahem, real thing. Sizzling heaps of main courses such as brownish-yellow curry chicken and rice are presented in miniature toilet bowls. For dessert, patrons spoon their choice of plain chocolate or chocolate and vanilla “swirl” ice cream in thought-provoking fecal formations from squatty-pot dishware.

Surprisingly, Modern Toilet isn't the first of its kind in Taiwan. In May 2004, entrepreneur Eric Wang opened Marton Theme Restaurant in Khaoshiung, the Republic's second largest city. Named after the Mandarin word for toilet, matong, Wang's excrement-inspired culinary concept quickly proved to be a hit...so much so that he opened a second location—The Toilet Bowl —seven months later in Taipei.

Fast forward four years, and the novelty has yet to wear off. Capitalizing on the success of the originals, the new Modern Toilet outposts now offer gastro-tourists and hungry citizens of Taiwan more of the same unique twist on the proverbial "hot pot" as Wang's other establishments. So long as the chain continues to provide quality food along with its fun, innovative atmosphere, Wang can expect to keep the flow of clientele steady and his business to stay, appropriately, flush.

Hmm, I wonder if the bathrooms look like kitchens...

The Modern Toilet
No.34, Lincyuan St., Lingya District
Shilin MRT Station, Taipei, Taiwan

[images via Fun Fever]

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