There’s a restaurant in Taiwan called Modern Toilet that serves food in toilet and urinal-shaped dishware. Where patrons sit on Western-style toilets surrounded by tile walls and floors, and eat suspiciously-presented food out of porcelain thrones. It’s one of the most bizarre theme restaurants out there, and yet people flock to eat at this bathroom-themed restaurant.
What makes Modern Toilet so appealing to locals and foreign visitors alike? How did an excrement-themed restaurant become an Instagram-worthy hotspot in this little island nation? This seemingly unappetizing theme restaurant is a commodity within Taiwan and serves as a symbol of national pride in disguise.
Getting Nasty for Nationalism
Modern Toilet may seem on the surface like a restaurant opened by a man of poor taste. But what if I told you that all the dishes served in the restaurant are not traditional Taiwanese cuisine? Modern Toilet serves exclusively foreign foods, making the bold statement that every other country’s food is crap.
That’s right, this unsavory presentation of food is all a joke, mocking other countries’ food when compared to Taiwanese delicacies. For a country known for its wide range of dishes and overall food quality, it’s no surprise that food would be a point of pride for the Taiwanese. The culture centers around food: from greetings to religious outings, food plays a significant role in the everyday lives of Taiwanese citizens.
Modern Toilet’s Sh*tty Menu
On the menu, you’ll find all sorts of food from around the world. Whether it’s Chinese hot pot in a toilet bowl, a bathtub of gratin, or a sink of pasta with tabos of sauce, you’ll find just about anything non-Taiwanese on this sprawling menu.
As I said, they have pasta, curries, hot pots, steaks, pork, chicken, and gratin as main dishes. If you want to feed your sweet tooth, try a waffle, or perhaps a turd-shaped soft-serve ice cream served in a squat-toilet-shaped dish. You can also choose from a variety of drinks, from teas to milk drinks and yogurts, and even coffee, beer, and soda. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Modern Toilet drink unless it was served in a urinal instead of a glass.
If you are just peckish or looking for some a la carte options to add to your meal, they have those too. Chicken wings, vegetables, cheese sticks, and “poopoo bread” are just a few options available.
Modern Toilet Clogs Instagram
Modern Toilet is a Taiwanese must-see, but at the end of the day, it’s a commodity more than anything. Like most theme restaurants across Japan and Taiwan, nobody is really going for the food. Modern Toilet is, first and foremost, Instagram Ready.
Aside from the obscure plating methods the restaurant uses, the bathroom theme permeates the entire space. The seats are toilets (seat down, of course), white tile is everywhere, and sink faucets and shower heads serve as wall decor. There are also a variety of photo opportunities throughout the venue, including a bubble pool.
I have a confession to make: I was genuinely terrified that I was too late writing this article and Modern Toilet was no more. Their website is no longer operational, so I feared they had closed their second location in Shilin. However, I still see reviews being posted for this location to this day.
Sadly, in 2022 the location in Ximengding did close. The branch of this kooky theme restaurant was unable to withstand the wrath of COVID-19 due to the halt in tourism, which made up the majority of their patronage. Of course, I suppose it’s no surprise that a hygienically questionable themed dining experience would suffer during a pandemic.
If you are looking to experience the pinnacle of Taiwanese culinary expertise, this may not be your place. However, if you want an experience that was born in Taiwan and serves as a reminder of the inferior quality of foreign food, Modern Toilet is a must-see Taiwanese landmark. Even if you don’t like the food, how many opportunities are you going to get to eat in a public restroom?
What are your thoughts on this bizarre restaurant? Would you eat here, or would the bathroom imagery feel a bit too grotesque to fuel your appetite?