The food at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is quite tasty—we suggest the pan fried Maldivian white fish with fennel sauce and curry. But diners here don’t pay much attention to what’s on their plate. They are too captivated by this underwater restaurant’s 270 degree view of crystal blue water and vibrant marine life.
Here’s a restaurant theme you didn’t see coming: darkness.
The concept of purposefully eating in complete pitch-black dark originated with Jorge Spielmann, a blind clergyman from Zurich. When guests ate dinner at the Spielmann house some would wear blindfolds during their meal to show solidarity with their host and to better understand his world. What Spielmann’s sighted guests found was that the blindfolds heightened their sense of taste and smell and made their dining experience more enjoyable. That gave Spielmann the idea to open a dark restaurant, which he did in 1999.
Today you can stumble into dozens restaurants around the world where that question made famous in an American commercial in the 80s — Where’s the beef? — takes on a whole new meaning. Most dark restaurants employ blind waiters, offer a single set menu, and ban anything that could give off light (like cigarettes, cell phones and cameras) from the dinning area. All of them also have normally lit bathrooms though you’ll need to ask your waiter for help in finding it.
Here’s our illuminating look at some of the world’s dark restaurants:
This is the second of our two part overview of Thailand’s best islands. Continue on to read the whole article or click on one of the specific “best island” categories:
Thailand has over 250 islands, from deserted specks of land to tourist havens with mega resorts to everything in between. Regardless of what you are looking for in a tropical island, chances are that Thailand has at least one to fit your tastes.
Here’s the first of our two-part rundown of Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite Thailand islands. Continue reading on or click on an island category that meets your fancy:
Japan is a modern country, famous for its electronics and technological prowess. Thankfully, a few little pockets of the old, traditional Japan remain. Such as the wonderful little village of Onta.
When we first heard about a restaurant in Okinawa, Japan that was lodged on top of the remnants of an absolutely massive tree, and that customers went up to this restaurant by taking an elevator through said massive tree remnants, it immediately raised several questions for us:
What’s the story behind what must have been the largest tree in Japan? What happens to the restaurant when the ex-tree’s wood rots? How did they build an elevator through the tree? And how did the restaurant end up in the tree to begin with?
It turns out the answers to all those questions are essentially the same . . .
Visitors to Taipei who happen to enter the D.S. Music Restaurant expecting to find an elegant place to eat, perhaps with a jazz band playing gently in the background, are in for a shock.
Their first hint that something is amiss might be the waitstaff: they are all wearing nurse uniforms. And then these confused visitors would see that the medical theme extends to the restaurant’s decor of wheelchairs and crutches, to the toilets marked with “emergency room” signs and to the drinks served from I.V. bottles.
And from there, things really get out of control.
Oh, if you are wondering, each Modern Toilet restaurant does have proper bathrooms. They are very well marked to prevent patrons from making the horrible mistake.
We can’t imagine the marketing meeting during which some one pitches the concept for a toilet-themed restaurant . . . and the others in the meeting agreeing that it’s a good idea. And yet presumably such a meeting has happened. More than once. There are at least 20 (!) restaurants on planet Earth where toilets, urinals and potty talk are the central attraction. Five of those have opened in 2008 alone and at least ten more are planned for 2009, most in either China or Taiwan.
Let’s get you going with an overview of some of the world’s crappy dinning experiences in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany and Portugal . . .