Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Modern Toilet in Taiwan

Modern Toilet is a restaurant in Taiwan that gained recognition all over the world for its unique concept of being a toilet-themed restaurant.

My friends and I, made reservations for the Simending (a neighborhood in Taipei that is popular with teenagers and college students) restaurant stating that we would arrive around 3:00PM-4:00PM.

Upon arrival, we immediately noticed that the decor was chic, fun, and refreshing.

We were seated upon toilets and handed a laminated menu with a dry erase marker. The cheerful waitress told us that we were to mark our orders directly onto the menu. Though the menu handed to us was in Chinese, when asked for an English menu, they kindly obliged.

There were various items on the menu (spaghetti, fried rice, curry, etc.) but my friends and I all ended up choosing the hot pot, an East Asian stew which continues to simmer as you eat. It came with a free drink and ice cream.

While we were waiting for our food, we conversed and snapped pictures.

Sink-table, toilet-seats, and cute bathroom tiles decorated the walls.
Toilet-seats with different unique covers.
Bath-table, decorated showerhead, and poop

Past customers had slid thank-you  notes into the tub. We noticed that there were slips written by people not only from other parts of Taiwan, but also from Singapore, Los Angeles, and Canada.

Notes from other customers and menus lying on top of the glass

The restaurant played mainly Chinese Pop, but occasionally a Korean Pop song would play. The music really contributed to the light and bubbly atmosphere.

It took about 15 minutes to get our food.

The hot pot came with a bowl of rice and a sauce made of sha-cha and soy sauce. Sha-cha is a paste made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chilis, brill fish, and dried shrimp. The soups used to make the hot pot meals were done quite nicely but we found that the ingredients added,mushrooms, fish balls (similar to meatballs but made with fish paste), and other vegetables were pretty typical.
J's Korean Kimchi Hot Pot with Beef (250NT - 8.62USD)
Y's Signature Combination Hot Pot with Beef (250NT - 8.62USD)
My Signature Combination Hot Pot with Seafood (280NT - 9.65USD)

The custard and wasabi flavored fishballs were unique; I enjoyed the wasabi fishball but the custard one tasted out-of-place. The seafood was fresh and tender. The broth for Y's Signature Combination Beef Hot Pot was savory and delicious. The kimchi flavor was present but it was not too spicy.

When we finished our hot pot meals, they brought out the ice cream. At this point, we were about to explode.

Squatter-shaped holders! No additional money required

The vanilla-chocolate swirl was underwhelming , but I can't say I wasn't expecting it. Milk and cream products are not commonly produced in Taiwan. The ice cream did its job of providing something sweet and cold to top the meal off but it was not creamy enough for my American-cuisine-taste buds.

Overall Pros:
Nice atmosphere--refreshing, unique, cute
Friendly staff
Decent food
Reasonable prices
You don't have to tip in Asia

Overall Cons:
Location was slightly obscure
Bathroom was actually a squatter

Final remarks:
It was fun but the novelty of the entire experience definitely played a huge part of the appeal. The food was decent but it's the type of restaurant that you go to to experience the ambiance. It's a nice and casual place to eat with friends after shopping.

Location: Taiwan

Conducted by Gillian


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