Exotic hype sells. Just throw in some random Sanskrit names for restaurants, and you have an “all natural” eatery ready!
London-based naked restaurant ‘The Bunyadi’ is barely a day old, but people are already going crazy about this first nude eatery in the British city. The eatery that will serve patrons for three months, claims it has already more than 40,000 people on its waiting list.
Interestingly, the chief chef of the restaurant believes that rather than a distraction, nudity will help diners concentrate on their food. Although nudity is not illegal in England, I find it difficult to believe that in this ‘first of its kind’ restaurant Britishers, known for maintaining an upper stiff lip, will actually be thinking about the food.
The Bunyadi, which literally translates to ‘the base’ in Sanskrit, takes pride in providing its patrons a complete ‘natural experience’. While I don’t doubt about the ‘natural’ factor of this restaurant, I do wonder why they choose an Indian name for such a ‘risqué’ experience? Indians, after all, are very prude. Except the Naga sadhus and the Aghoris, we love to keep our ‘modesty’ intact.
Talking about keeping it natural, diners arriving in The Bunyadi are given a locker, asked to change into a robe and their phones are confiscated. They are then seated in semi-enclosed spaces, partially screened by bamboo partitions, where, they can choose to remove the robe or just keep it on.
In a bid to keep the dining experience close to nature, diners can avail a five-course, vegan or non-vegan raw foods, served on clay plates with edible cutlery. The fare is priced at £69 (Rs 6,500 approx) per person.
A similar eatery, The Amrita, is coming up in Tokyo on July 29. Like its counterpart in London, The Amrita, ‘immortality elixir’ in Sankrit, is encouraging diners to strip down to heels (mobiles and cameras included) to savour their food. Like The Buniyad, shy patrons can keep on their “paper underwear” while they look at the organic menu.
The Amrita will allow people only within the age-group of 18-60. If you have a trip to Tokyo scheduled in July, and plan to visit The Amrita, make sure you have no tattoos on your body, and you are not ‘healthy’ by the Indian standards. For, if the staff feels your body mass index (BMI) is over by 15 kg, they will make you step on a weighing scale. And if you are “overweight”, you will just have to return, all humiliated, in spite of paying the advance booking fees of ¥12,000 – 80,000 (Rs 7,500-50,000)!
In case you make it to The Amrita, and feel like chatting with someone across the table, you are most likely to draw a big reprimand from the waiters. The Amrita asks its customers not to “cause a nuisance” by trying to talk or touch other naked diners.
Well, be it London or Tokyo, mavericks are finding a good way to make people strip their clothes, and make money out of it too. And all in the name of Indian mysticism!