Themes give us a chance to indulge in a bit of make-believe and a bit of role play. Sometimes a themed restaurant can serve to heighten our experience, immerse us in our surroundings and encourage us to interact with our food in new and exciting ways. Alternatively, a theme in a restaurant can be downright weird. Here are a few of some of the oddest such restaurants from around the world.
Heart Attack Grill
America is notorious for its love of the unhealthy. However, while most restaurants will at least pay lip service to healthier options for their clientele, the Heart Attack Grill in Nevada rejects any semblance of health and embraces gluttony. The restaurant is themed around a hospital, with serving staff dressed as nurses and patrons given hospital gowns to dress as patients. The food is among the least healthy served anywhere on earth, with some of the “bypass burgers” clocking in at nearly 10,000 calories each. Any guest who fails to finish is spanked with a paddle by one of the nurses. Classy in the extreme.
The lavatory is about the least appetising room in the house. Probably the last thing you want to think about when eating is poo, yet this is exactly what Taiwan’s Modern Toilet presents to its customers. Everything in the restaurant is based on items from the bathroom, to the literal toilet seats to the faecally-shaped light fixtures. The most notorious dish is probably their soft serve chocolate ice cream, which is presented in a miniature toilet bowl. I’m sure you can guess what the brown dessert most closely resembles.
Hospital food is not typically renowned for its quality. However, Hospitalis in Latvia has seized upon the medical conceit and created a venue that is as striking as it is weird. All staff are dressed as medical practitioners, with guests encouraged to play the role of patients. Nothing too unusual yet. Diners then have the option of being straight-jacketed or laid out on an operating table and having their food served to them by the staff. All food is eaten with surgical utensils, and drinks come in glass beakers and test tubes. All very odd.
Buns and Guns
In Lebanon, Beirut’s “Buns and Guns” is busy redefining explosive cooking. The military-themed restaurant features dishes such as “Terrorist Bread”, “M16 Carbine Sandwich” and “Mortar Burger”. Decorated with an assortment of military paraphernalia, and with a soundtrack of circling helicopters, gunfire and explosions, the restaurant is reported not to be the most relaxing of dining destinations. The slogan of “Sandwiches Can Kill You” sums up what must be a hostile atmosphere for would-be diners.
Dinner in the Sky
For many people, heights are a cause for stomach-churning, sweat-pouring and a general sense of queasiness. Despite the unappetising consequences of vertigo, Belgian business Dinner in the Sky specialises in serving meals to clients 150 feet in the air. The company operates in more than 40 countries across the world, and delivers high-quality cooking as well as an exhilarating location. Though not for the faint of heart, Dinner in the Sky offers daring diners a truly unforgettable culinary experience.
While most strangely-themed restaurants aren't everyone’s cup of tea, they clearly represent an alternative way of thinking about food. Even if some of the venues we’ve mentioned seem abhorrent, don’t dismiss them out of hand. Until you’ve tried it, you won’t know for sure if eating poo-shaped ice cream is as horrible as you think. At the very least, these restaurants are a great way to expand your foodie horizons.