"" Writer's Wanderings: Soup From A Toilet Bowl?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Soup From A Toilet Bowl?

Passersby would stop and do a double take and try to figure out just what was going on inside the Marton Restaurant. It had a very unique theme: the bathroom. According to their website, the restaurant that is now called Modern Toilet Restaurant and is a chain in Taiwan, was inspired by the manga, Dr. Slump. What is a manga, you ask? Read on.

A manga is basically a comic book series originating in Japan. There are all sorts of mangas as there are all sorts of comic book series in the U.S. The particular one that inspired the Modern Toilet Restaurant is set in Penguin Village and the inventor in the village creates a robot-girl who is desperately in need of eyeglasses thus she gets into all sorts of trouble. There are 18 volumes of the manga and the anime series developed from it has 243 episodes. The stories contain lots of puns and toilet humor and parodies of Japanese and American culture.

Back to the toilet humor. After reading Dr. Slump, the "muckrackers" as they call themselves started the toilet restaurant idea. It began mainly serving ice cream--chocolate in small squat toilet replica dishes. It has branched out since then. The fixtures in the restaurant are clear table tops set on bathtubs and of course toilets for seating. The website assures everyone that the toilets, urinals, etc., food is served in are just replicas of the real thing and have never actually been plumbed.

Well, how is the food, I wondered. So I headed over to TripAdvisor to get a first hand accounting. They have a a three green dot rating (average) and are #634 out of 9150 restaurants in Taipei. Here are a few comments:

It suits the Aussie humor: Took my mum and best mate, had a good laugh the whole time!
Then went back with the wife and her Nanna.... When the hot pot arrived and it was a toilet.... The look on her face, an 80-something year old Taiwanese lady.... Priceless.

A South Korean visitor said: You sit on toilets overtop of a clear counter topped bathtub or sink. Food is brought in various bathroom-themed dishes such as toilets, urinals, and squatters. The entire thing is good fun and worth going to at least once just for the fun of it.

Most reviewers agreed you don't go for the food. And a New York visitor said "Modern Toilet is a go there once, never come again type of restaurant." Then ended with this, "Note: Ironic that Modern Toilet does not have a sit-on toilet." I guess unless you squat well, you'd better go before you go.

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