Would you dare to dine suspended 165 feet in the air or drink tea from a coffin top? There have always been those restaurants that dare to push the boundaries of what most consider a nice night of eating out. These are just a few of the strangest. Now, bring that cat over here.
Dinner in the Sky
Reach for the sky – or eat in it, if you prefer. A concept dinner which originally began in Belgium, Dinner in the Sky now hosts, or should we say hoists, around the world. A maximum of 22 diners are attached to a table and lofted 165 feet into the air by a crane. A chef, waiter and entertainer go up with the group to ensure that the intimate, unique experience goes off without a hitch. You can even host your own Dinner in the Sky event, as long as you have a surface of 5,382 square feet to secure – and a bit of cash on hand.
It might be a traditional Japanese sake house in most respects, but in one very significant way, it’s not. The waiters at the Kayabukia Tavern in Tochigi are two pet macaque monkeys. The restaurant’s owner, Kaoru Otsuka, says he never trained the monkeys to work, but that they picked it up by watching him. Yat-chan, the older macaque takes and delivers drink orders while Fuku-chan is responsible for bringing customers hot towels to clean their hands. At least you get to save on tips – the monkeys receive boiled soya beans as thanks for their service.
Gerona Tarlac, Philippines
As if a floating fish restaurant weren’t enough to attract a bevy of hungry diners, Isdaan Restaurant, which believes that a little pre-dinner venting makes for a peaceful meal, has a special place set aside where diners can buy and smash plates, mugs, vases and even TVs before sitting down to some freshly caught Philippine fish. However, the singing cooks and waiters in the restaurant might just want to make you visit the smashing room after dinner too.
It’s hard not to make potty jokes over dinner when your dinner is served in a toilet. At Modern Toilet in Taipei, Taiwan, diners not only sit on actual, though not-in-service toilets, they also eat from miniature toilet bowls, drink out of model urinals and eat coiled-poo chocolate ice cream for dessert. Toilet rolls double as napkins and the décor is, predictably, toilet-themed.
Fortezza Medicea Restaurant
Here’s one prison everyone’s trying to get into. Fortezza Medicea is a high-security prison for inmates serving hors d’oeuvres and no less than seven years. It can take up to two months to secure a table in this wildly popular restaurant, which began as a project to rehabilitate prisoners. Part of the reason for the wait, however, is that diners must be screened by Rome’s Ministry of Justice before they get a reservation. Don’t worry – the knives are plastic.
New Lucky Restaurant
The dead make good dining companions at the New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmadabad, India. What began 60 years ago as a small tea stall outside a Muslim cemetery grew so large that it also encompassed some of the cemetery’s graves, now interspersed between tables and bedecked with candles. The restaurant’s owners aren’t discomfited by the dead and say that the graves bring them good luck. Patrons don’t seem to mind either, as the restaurant does a brisk trade in buttery rolls and tea.
When you can’t bring the pets to you, sometimes you have to bring yourself to the pets. In Tokyo, where many of the city’s small apartments are pet-restricted, cat cafés have become a way to get your fuzzy fix – and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea. Neko JaLaLa offers a simple drink menu and eight freely roaming cats. Curl up with a book, your favorite mewling friend and sooth the night away.