Taipei, Taiwan—a city known for cuisine that overturns common sense and challenges convention.
There is no better representation of this than the popular chain restaurant Modern Toilet. A novel concept that couldn’t be described any better than its name, Modern Toilet offers a variety of poo-themed delights served in toilet-shaped dishes to emulate that exhilarating feeling of eating feces straight from the bowl.
I just happened to be in Taiwan when I heard of the restaurant and, unable to hold my curiosity in, made my way to Ximending, a shopping area popular with young people where the flagship store is located.
Though I heard that the 2,800-square-foot, three-story restaurant is located easily by the giant toilet suspended outside, I decided to ask a local for directions. Doing so, several other people came up to me excitedly and pointed the way to the restaurant for me. I was touched by the kindness of the Taiwanese people, but slightly embarrassed to have gotten so much attention for asking the way to a giant toilet.
I was walking in the direction of the restaurant when, about 50 meters ahead of me, the giant porcelain throne finally came into view—a mighty sight indeed! I regained my composure and entered the restaurant.
It seems that when you theme your restaurant after the bathroom you go all out. The walls are tiled and adorned with shower heads and feces-shaped lights hang from the ceiling. Chairs are Western-style toilets and tables are bathtubs and sinks with thick sheets of glass laid over them. The interior is overall designed with a very colorful, ‘pop’ décor that definitely puts the ‘modern’ in Modern Toilet.
The sink-tables were filled with messages from customers. Looking closely, I was surprised to see one note with the words “fight on, Japan!” in what looked to be a child’s handwriting.
Items on the menu are cleverly divided by the bathroom fixture in which they are served. A Western-style toilet bowl is used for curry, meat and hot pot dishes; a bathtub for gratin dishes; a toilet lid for pasta; a squat-toilet for side dishes and soft-serve ice cream; and a urinal for drinks. I decided to go with an order of curry and soft-serve for dessert.
After ordering I got up to walk around the restaurant and take pictures; when I returned the curry was sitting on the table waiting for me.
The unexpectedly tasteful arrangement of the meal was a pleasant surprise; however, my attention was soon distracted by the large, cartoonish porcelain turd lying behind the tray. I lifted the turd off the table and was surprised to find it was rather heavy—ah, this must be the lid to the toilet bowl!
Time to dig into this steaming pile of curry!
Thick and delicious! The flavor was similar to Japanese curry, but for some reason it was extremely hot, even for being fresh out of the kitchen. After taking a few more bites I started to sweat so I decided to take a rest…and that’s when I noticed the curry was actually boiling in the toilet!
I looked through a hole at the base and the mystery was quickly solved: a little canister of liquid fuel was burning away. It was then I realized this wasn’t your standard curry in a toilet bowl: this was a seething porcelain cauldron of curry from hell.
I tried to make the best of the situation and thought of a number of non-lavatory-related things as I ate, but really there’s not much you can do with a bubbling, chunky brown stew in a toilet bowl.
Up next was the soft-serve in a squat toilet.
The taste was lighter and more refreshing than the soft-serve usually found in Japan, very suitable for the hot and humid Taiwanese weather. The mix of chocolate and vanilla I ordered swirled together in a brilliant spiral mound. Stirring it up into mush made look even more appropriate in the little yellow toilet, and I was as tickled at an adolescent boy in a…well, a toilet themed restaurant.
Having come to a toilet-themed restaurant I couldn’t miss using an actual toilet. However, I was slightly disappointed to find it was just your standard squat toilet, though I’m not sure what I was expecting.
It did make me hungry for more soft-serve though.
On the other hand, the sink was tasteful: a full-blown western toilet that looked like it could be mistaken for the real thing.
The Modern Toilet website tells the story behind the concept:
“We are a group following our dreams. It all started when one of us was reading the manga Dr. Slump on the toilet—and the rest is history.”
Dr. Slump is a gag manga series that ran in the 1980s and is well known for its potty humor. The owner states that his inspiration came from one character in particular who loved to “play with poop and swirl it on a stick.”
The explanation continues:
“In the beginning, we mainly sold ice cream: a big pile of chocolate ice cream sold in containers shaped like a squat toilet. This humorous spin became a great success.”
Indeed, since its formal launch in 2006, Modern Toilet has opened a total of 12 restaurants in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Today, Modern Toilet aspires to be at the head—well, both ends, really—of themed chain restaurants in Asia: “In an age where creative marketing is king, even feces can be turned into gold!”
Original Article: Ikeda
Source: Modern Toilet
▼Friendly counter staff
▼A mysterious corner near the entrance. Even poo looks pretty in pink
▼Posters of the menu items
▼Each toilet seat was decorated with a different, colorful design. I think I’m hiring these guys as my next interior decorator!
▼Despite the theme, the interior is chic enough to bring a date to.
▼A variety of Modern Toilet goods are available for purchase – including the toilet bowl and poo lid combination!
▼The urine bottle-shaped drink container