Hungry Hippo’s Unique Places to Dine

Kayabukiya Tavern
I was surfing the Internet the other day and came across a very unusual restaurant in Japan.  According to Wikipedia there is a Sake House in Japan with some very unusual wait staff:

“ The Kayabukiya Tavern (izakaya kayabuki?) is a traditional-style Japanese “sake-house” restaurant (izakaya) located in the city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo, Japan. The location attracted international attention in 2008 when the Western media reported the tavern and its news movies were uploaded to YouTube

The tavern’s owner, Kaoru Otsuka, owns two pet Macaque monkeys who are currently employed to work at the location.The first monkey, twelve-year-old “Yat-chan”, is dressed in a shirt and shorts while he takes customers’ drink orders and delivers them to the diners’ tables.The restaurant’s owner, Otsuka, reported that he never initially taught the monkeys; Yat-chan first learned from watching him work. Otsuka said, “It all started one day when I gave him a hot towel out of curiosity and he brought the towel to the customer.”The younger macaque, named Fuku-chan, is currently four years old and has the main duty of bringing the attendees hot towels to clean their hands before ordering drinks.Fuku-chan has only two years of experience, while Yat-chan has been reportedly performing the job for a longer time.”

How is that for Cheap Labour! Check out the video on YouTube.

Hajime Robot Restaurant

If you thought getting served my Monkeys is a little crazy, how about dining out like George Jetson and get served by a Robot! Located in the Capital of Thailand, Bankok is Hajime Robot Restaurant.

Hajime is a Japanese Shabu and Barbeque Restaurant, their website says:

“ Witness our new trend of Shabu Shabu, Sukiyaki and Yakiniku at “Hajime” Robot Restaurant where the innovation begins! The first in Thailand where the genius robots serve food to you without waiter/ress manpower, “Hajime” Robot Restaurant will give you the “awesome” dining experience with our real Japanese dishes of over 100 items in the menu for your choices.

What makes us different is “Hajime” Robot, all produced in Japan and developed by Thai engineers. Hajime Robot has lots of abilities such as gesture expression, dancing along the rhythm as well as serving the food. Not only its cute appearance impresses the customers, but also “Hajime” Robot’s intellect does its job.

The robot, for instance, will take away empty dishes automatically from your table (return window.). While our two out of four robots are preparing food in the kitchen, the other two are to accurately serve the food right at your table via the touch screen order system. Visit and feel our warm authentic

Japanese atmosphere mixed with the innovation, which is worth a try, and enjoy the great taste of our dishes at Hajime Robot Restaurant.”

Maybe it’s just me but I would still like to be served by a cute waitress. To see the Robots check out this Video

Dining in the Dark

A little while back I was watching an Episode of Nip/Tuck where a couple of the characters went to a restaurant where you Dine in the Dark. The concept was sweeping across Europe years back and we are starting to see that in North America these days.

Here is an excerpt from the Opaque website, which has several locations across the US:

Opaque – Dining in the Dark – will seat you in a literally pitch-black dining room where you will be guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals that have been specially trained to serve meals in the dark, casually and comfortably offering guidance and reassurance for sighted guests.??

Upon arriving at the Dining in the Dark venue, you will be welcomed in a lighted lounge area where you will pick from a specially prepared menu (designed by a sighted local ‘star’ chef), and we check your coat or bag as you don’t need anything but your senses. Once you have ordered, you will be personally guided into the darkened dining room. Special security measures are taken to make your experience both safe and enjoyable.

Whether you have been seen enough and want to hide in the dark, or just want to experience dining on a higher level – Opaque – Dining in the Dark – caters to the senses and a deeper consciousness. Not just a meal, but a truly unique, sensual experience

Up in the Great White North you can try out O.Noir with Locations in Toronto and Montreal. Just remember at both places, check your Cell Phones, Lighters, Pagers and Watches at the Door. My question is why not just save some money and cook a meal at home, go eat down in the basement and shut off the lights?

Dinner in the Sky

Belgium is just not famous for their chocolates; David Ghysels also created the cool concept Dinner in the Sky. This meal is not for you if your afraid of heights. You are suspended at a height of 50 Meters for up to 8 hours.

The table seats up to 22 guests and 3 staff (Waiters or Entertainment) you can also suspend a second deck for a band or some other sort of entertainment. This idea has spawned other concepts such as Breakfast in the sky, lunch in the sky, cocktails in the sky, meeting in the sky, Internet café in the sky.

How much does it cost? Ghysels told Forbes magazine:

“a star chef cooking above a famous U.S. landmark like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls–would cost anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000.”

That’s a lot of meals on the ground!

Dining in the Cold

Whistler is not only known for its great Mountains and both winter and summer sporting destinations. Their are also many great places to dine. For the adventurist I would recommend 2 Unique Dining Experiences. The first is offered through Canadian Guided Tours, but the coolest one is the Fondue SnowMobile Tour, you drive a snowmobile up the mountains through the trees to the Dining Venue 6000 Ft up BlackComb Mountain. The whole tour lasts about 4 hours and cost about $225/ Person. 

There is also Barefoot Bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room,  where the temperature is -40 Celcius. Canada’s first sub-zero vodka room and the world’s coldest. For $48 get four premium Vodka samplings and a chance to Chill out in a room made of Ice. 

So what do you think? Is there anything I missed? Have you dined at any of these, if so please comment below or on Facebook and Twitter. Until next time folks!