TAIPEI (Reuters Life!) - This Taipei restaurant might consider it a compliment to be called an outhouse as the Modern Toilet diner is one of chain of themed eateries appealing to largely young clientele with a toilet humor.
All 100 seats in the crowded diner are made from toilet bowls, not chairs. Sink faucets and gender-coded "WC" signs appear throughout the three-storey facility, one of 12 in an island-wide chain of eateries with a toilet theme.
Customers eat from mini plastic toilet bowls. They wipe their hands and mouths using toilet rolls hung above their tables, which may be glass-topped jumbo bathtubs.
"Most customers will bring their cameras in because the place is quite special," said Yang Chung-chi, a manager at the restaurant in north Taipei.
Owner Wang Tzi-wei opened his first Modern Toilet in 2004 after being inspired by a Japanese cartoon featuring restroom images and the toilet themes run through the food and drinks menus.
Modern Toilet draws on people ages 15 to 35, especially students from the three universities near Yang's facilities because they're "easily excited," Yang said. He said older people just wouldn't get it.
"It's really unusual, so special that it doesn't gross me out," said Betty Tsai, 16, a Taipei high school sophomore trying Modern Toilet for the first time on a friend's recommendation.
But for a few customers, the toilet humor is too much.
"My son thought it was disgusting and didn't know if he could finish his food," said Taipei mother Lin Li-ju.
Managers say the restaurant's popularity shows that Taipei customers, who have a choice of theme-eateries that resemble jailhouses and hospitals, appreciate creative dining.
"In the evenings, we easily fill up," Yang said. "Our headquarters is still looking at expansion."
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)