Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chow time at the loo

“Chow time at the loo”

Sun.Star Davao, June 5, 2010

It was our last night in Hong Kong and after a long and tiring day of marathon bargain hunting, our supposed final stop was at Watsons along Causeway Bay to purchase some medicines.

“Mommy, I need to use the bathroom”, my daughter urgently tells me. So, I hurriedly asked the sales ladies where we could go. Unfortunately, there was none available in the store.

I checked the third floor where we found a jampacked Korean buffet restaurant with a restroom. After our ‘courtesy call’ at the C.R., I noticed a colorful sign that looked very familiar.

My unexpected discovery made me giddy with excitement. Lo (or should I say, ‘loo’?) and behold... there was a Modern Toilet Restaurant on the fourth floor!

I’ve always been intrigued by this bathroom-themed restaurant which I first saw on my friend Keryl’s Facebook photos.

‘Poopy’ beginnings

According to Wikipedia, owner/ex-banker Wang Zi-Wei’s inspiration for this unique 
restaurant concept was derived from a Japanese robot cartoon character, “Jichiwawa”, who loved to “play with poop and swirl it on a stick”. From this ‘stinky’ idea, he successfully established an ice cream shop which sold swirled chocolate ice cream on top of paper squat toilets.

In May 2004, Mr. Wang and his partners launched their first ever full-fledged themed restaurant, Marton Restaurant (now Modern Toilet) in Taiwan.

“The restaurant immediately caused a stir with its humorous “out-there” design. At the start, many people peered in the restaurant trying to figure out what we were selling—then had a big smile on their faces when they finally worked it out”, reveal the owners on their official website.

Modern Toilet now has 13 restaurants scattered in parts of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Soon to open are branches in Macau and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Toilet humor at its best

As we entered Modern Toilet, the kids were awed and tickled pink with the novel and quirky concept.

Situated beside Japan Home Center which actually sells real houseware and appliances, the restaurant boasts of comfortable cushioned toilet seats as its dining chairs, glass tables on top of ceramic wash basins, tile-covered walls with shower heads, enormous PVC pipes, special sauna dining areas, immaculate bathtubs, among others.

Modern Toilet even has a gallery of toilet seat covers with various national flag designs and a showcase of ‘shitty’ (pardon my French!) paraphernalia and decorations.

Chow time at the loo

For our late dinner, we ordered tummy-filling and lip-smacking Pork Chop Gratin, Braised Sirloin Hot Pot, Japanese Milky Hot Pot, Spaghetti with Creamy Spinach Sauce and Japanese Pork Cutlets which we paired with refreshing smoothies and house specialty drinks.

Our sumptuous food was ‘tastefully’ presented in mini toilet bowls and bath tubs and wash basins as plates while we sipped our drinks in urinal-inspired containers.

Dessert would not be complete without the popular soft-swirl ice cream (which reminds me of you-know-what) served in a squat toilet-type dish. Other must-try ‘appetizing’ shaved-ice desserts include “Diarrhea with Dried Droppings” (chocolate), “Bloody Poop” (strawberry) and “Green Dysentery” (kiwi).

Our set menu also had tomato soup, unlimited fresh vegetable salad and sinfully delicious cakes. We wanted to gorge on more desserts; however, our stomachs simply could not take them all.

So, after our heavy dinner, we posed endlessly as we took pictures of the restaurant’s ‘crappy’ interiors till almost midnight. Every nook and cranny did not escape our trusty cameras.

Pooped (no pun intended) but still managing to flash our winning smiles, our memorable meal at Modern Toilet was an awesome way to cap our night and end our fun-filled family vacation.

In Hong Kong, Modern Toilet Restaurant is located at 4th Floor Capitol Centre, 5-19 Jardines Bazaar, Causeway Bay (MTR Exit F, located above Watsons) and 3B, MPM, 240-244 Portland St., Mongkok.

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