Dining out is one of life’s great pleasures. But wouldn’t it be better if your food was delivered by a prisoner? Or how about if you could eat in a tree? Featuring toilets, prisoners and ghosts, yes, ghosts, we’ve rounded up the most ludicrous restaurants this country has to offer. Dinner in complete darkness, maybe?
Eating in any of these eateries/restaurants will be exciting and adventurous.
1. New Lucky Restaurant, Ahmedabad. Dine at a graveyard.
Want to enjoy some tea while chatting with friends in a graveyard? Some restaurant atmospheres are plain dead – but one restaurant owner claims business has flourished since opening his eaterie at the site of an old cemetery.
Rather than ripping out the graves to make way for his restaurant, owner Krishnan Kutti even chose to preserve the coffins and place tables around them at the ironically-named New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmedabad. The coffins are the remnants of a Muslim cemetery and the cafe has now become a popular hang-out for both young and old.
2. Cross Café, Mumbai. Heil Hitler.
Puneet Sabhlok, 23 years old and a novice restaurateur, says he wanted a catchy café name to sell his $3 to $4 plates of crostini tonno, pear and ricotta salad and pannacotta. So he went with Hitler’s Cross. He put a swastika in the logo.
“Hitler is a catchy name. Everyone knows Hitler,” he explained. The café opened this week in a remote suburb of Mumbai. At first, business was brisk. After many controversies, the restaurant was named Cross Café. It is permanently closed as of now.
3. Seva Café, Ahmedabad. Pay it forward.
At Seva Cafe, you are a guest, welcomed with a kumkum and a hug, to share in the simple, delicious meal. A young band belts out music and there’s encouraged conversations.
Is it a home, or a restaurant? At the end of your meal, you don’t get a bill with numbers, just a little folder which says, ‘Pay from your heart’. No one questions the amount. That the folder is a handmade piece of art only adds to the experience. You are also welcome to pitch in with cooking, cleaning, serving, organizing.
Seva Cafe is based on the pay-it-forward or gift economy. Your meal has been paid for by someone, you will be paying for the next patron. The difference is in the service: food served with love turns the atmosphere into one of a home full of guests.
4. Hijackk Restaurant. Get Hijackked for food and fun.
With its presence in Ahmedabad, Surat, Chennai and Rajkot, Hijackk is a one of its kind double decker mobile bus restaurant in India. The construction of the idea was done with an objective to provide a unique dining and entertaining experience for the people of the city of Ahmedabad.
Hijackk would take customers on a route of 40 to 45 kms which would take a time duration of one to one and a half hours and move at speed of not more than 40 kms per hour. The route map is defined on the back of the ticket for your reference.
5. Nasa, Bangalore. Dining in outer space, anybody?
A spaceship-inspired ambience is complete with the rocked-shaped tables, out worldly monikers for drinks and waiters in space suits. Visibly, this restaurant is an ode to NASA! Make sure to visit this usual place before leaving Bangalore! The original bar has been replaced, sources say.
6. Namyasheth Bhejawala, Mumbai. Where Lamb brains are a no-brainer.
This place is, or was, famous, not for the ambiance, but for its food. Head here early or you’ll have to settle for bhurji instead of bheja. For over two decades, the owner Namya (how’d you guess?) has been cooking up fresh batches of bheja that vanish in a jiffy. Bheja is the star item of this tiny, roofless place. Juicy and spiced according to your palate, the Bheja Masala is a treat, enjoyed best with Masala Pao. Even the Bheja Rice is worth a try.
7. Bob Dylan’s Café, Manali. For crazy Bob Dylan fans.
In the heart of old Manali is an old cabin-styled coffee shop that offers the best espresso coffee in town along with some sinful desserts like chocolate cookies, cinnamon tea and warm breakfasts. The quaint ambiance will make any traveler feel enter a different world of Bob Dylan era with movie and book zone especially for people who wish to spend unending hours there.
8. Nature’s Toilet Cafe, Ahmedabad. Eat on a lavatory.
India’s first ever toilet-themed restaurant, this cafe has a toilet garden around it which boasts of a collection of more than twenty lavatories and urinals which date as far back as the 1950s. The signboard outside the loo carries the sign “Haash!” The founder Jayesh Patel is the son of Ishwarbhai Patel who established the toilet garden. He was strangely called ‘Baby Toilet’ because of this weird legacy.
9. 21 Fahrenheit, Mumbai.
Bringing in the ice-bar concept to Mumbai, 21 Fahrenheit combines the classy aspect of a fine dining restaurant with the trendy attitude of a lounge. The temperature controlled, bluish lounge accommodates around 45 guests and offers them insulated jackets, gloves and boots for a fixed acclimatisation charge. Everything, from the glasses to the curtains is made from ice. Tasty finger foods on the menu too. Go for the experience of the ice-bar.
10. The Bar Stock Exchange, Mumbai. Prices are directly proportional to Demand.
Any knowledge that you might have related to the trading of stocks will come in handy at The Bar Stock Exchange. The rules of share trading will apply to the sale of liquor. Between noon and 4pm, the base price of each standard beverage will be its MRP and that of each cocktail will be Rs 250.
At 6pm, ‘alcohol trading’ begins and as the demand for a certain drink increases over the course of the evening so will its price. To further mimic the stock exchange, the bar management could stage a market crash at random (you’ll be alerted by a red light and a siren), in the duration of which the price of alcohol across the menu could drop lower than its MRP.
11. Kaidi Kitchen, Chennai. Eat in a Prison.
In this restaurant, waiters dressed as police inspectors take the order while others wearing prisoners’ dress serve the meal. The ambiance here and seating arrangement is also similar to that of an Indian Police Station. As soon as you enter the place, you will feel you are in a police station. The restaurant aims at making people more aware of the crimes happening around and the laws made to protect them.
The owner of Kaidi Kitchen, Rohit Ojha said that they want to provide a different environment to the customers. Keeping this in mind, the concept of a prison-based restaurant came to light. The fully air-conditioned place has 8 cells built the same way as they appear in a jail. The customers are put inside these cells and served food.
12. Taste of Darkness, Hyderabad. Experience food in complete darkness.
Imagine, a proper, formal, sit-down dinner with 50 people, in a room that’s bathed in complete darkness. Everyday a surprise menu awaits. Expect to be served courteously by trained dining guides who serve you from our selection of local and global cuisine while you experience the pleasure of enjoying food using only the aroma and your taste buds as reference.
You get to interact with visually challenged people and k now their life. It is very different from other experiences you have had. It is an adventure.
Do you know some weird restaurants in India which are not on this list?