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Food & Drink

Unique Dining Experiences in Asia: Toilets, Treehouses & Total Darkness

5 min read
Published on May 28, 2014
By Globetrotting Editor

Every Globetrotter knows that one of the most rewarding experiences when travelling is food, which is why travelling with an open mind towards food around the world is so essential to adventurous travellers. Asia perhaps more than anywhere else evokes images of mysterious and strange food, which is probably why our Asia team always end up talking about food, and look for ways to include it in our travellers arrangements. But it's not always about the 5 star dining experience, it's about a meal worth remembering!

Everywhere you go will have some kind gastronomic claim to fame, so you should always try to work this into your travel arrangements.We are a travel company who arrange all kinds of unique dining experiences that leave our travellers with indelible memories, so we've polled our Asia team for their most unique and memorable Asian dining experiences... and wow - these aren't your typical 'nice' restaurant experience!

A Modern Toilet Restaurant
Kaohsiung, Taiwan will have you dining on the throne, not like the kings of the past mind you, but at the uniquely themed Modern Toilet Restaurant. The restaurant has a comical décor themed after toilets, that ensures a lot of laughter. Here, colourful toilets are your seating arrangements (please keep your pants on), and food will be plated on lids and bowls which you'll recognize as  either a Western toilet or Asian “squat” toilet. Your table is converted from a bathtub with a glass cover, while urinal-converted lamps provide intimate lighting. How could a restaurant possibly succeed with such a bizarre concept? We aren't sure either, but they've opened at least 10 other restaurants in only a few years! Leave your  marriage proposals and business-dinners for another time, this is a dining experience to laugh about.

Dining in the treetops of Southern Thailand
Soneva Kiri, Thailand takes dining to new heights. Set high amongst the branches are a series of "tree pods", which through sturdy wires, raise and lower from the forests floor. "Unique" certainly applies here, as once you are "seated" in your tree pod, it slowly rises up to provide panoramic views of the ocean, canopy and forest floor laid out before you. The height provides a cool breeze, while the canopy shield you from the sun. As you imagine that you're sitting in some kind of over-sized bird's nest, you suddenly realize that your waiter just appeared out of nowhere... Here servers harnessed to zip lines fly from nest to nest to bring a first class service to the dining experience, just don't drop your chopsticks!

Dining in the Dark
As you walk into the brightly lit entrance way, you'll be confused by the description: a restaurant where you eat in the dark. But as your host slips on a pair of night-vision goggles and asks you to politely follow, rest assured they aren't kidding. Beijing claims the first 'Dark Restaurant' in China, as the concept has spread internationally, but it really is dark, with the walls painted pitch black, no light exists within the restaurant. Cell-phones, bright watches and any other lights are requested to be hidden or turned off. This isn't just a gimmick, and is actually grounded in gastronomic good-nature. As the theory goes, by eliminating one's senses (sight), it stimulates the others (especially smell and taste) creating a more sensitive palate and a much more elegant food experience. Even conversations seem different, as you listen but cannot see your dining partners whatsoever. But in case you are wondering about the wash-rooms, they are all brightly lit, inside... the tricky part is finding them!

Karim's in Old Delhi is legendary Mughal Cuisine
Karim's in Old Delhi is legendary Mughal Cuisine

Dining in the streets of India
Delhi, India has the legendary Mughal cuisine outlet Karims. If this doesn't count as local food, we don't know what else does! Karims was started by Haji Karimuddin in 1913, near India's largest mosque Jama Masjid, in an alley way. Since those humble beginnings, the restaurant really hasn't changed much in design, with seating and tables on one side of the alley, and a small, open air kitchen on the other side producing silver bowls full of what many travellers and locals alike describe as the most delicious food in all of India. Eating at Karims is a "people watchers heaven", as life goes on around you in a bustling area of Delhi. It's a perfect combination of local, traditional food, while being a total adventure in itself - this experience is for world-travellers only!

We have a wide range of itineraries that offer unique dining experiences all across Asia or we can custom design any itinerary to suit a travelers taste buds... appetites are required! We have a popular 10 day Classic Thailand itinerary including Thai Cooking lessons, where you learn how to cook the dishes at home that you will be eating in Thailand.

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