Eating ice cream shaped like poop while sitting on a toilet bowl in public - disgusting? Apparently not in Taiwan, where a chain of bathroom-themed restaurants called the Modern Toilet is big business.
The Modern Toilet restaurant was founded in 2004 by former banker Wang Zi-Wei after he saw success selling chocolate ice cream in containers shaped like squat toilets. Since then, the restaurant has expanded to 12 locations in Taiwan, along with one restaurant in Hong Kong.
The eatery's "out-there" design includes toilets seats as chairs, bathroom sinks covered with glass top as tables and toilet roll dispensers hanging on the wall. Drinks come in urinal shaped containers and meals are served in dishes resembling bathtubs.
The restaurant chain is a key attraction in Taiwan. It has a three and half star rating from travel website TripAdvisor, and was recently featured on the lifestyle TV channel TLC in a show titled the "World's Weirdest Restaurants." Taiwan is also home to other wacky restaurants like those inspired by hospitals and jailhouses.
Photo: Solana, Flickr.com
One of the most expensive coffees in the world, Kopi Luwak, is derived from - believe it or not - the poop of a toddy cat.
Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee refers to the beans of coffee berries that are eaten by the Asian Palm Civet, the long bodied mammal who inhabits the jungles of South and Southeast Asia. After the beans ferment in the animal's stomach, they are gathered from the civet's droppings and cleaned and roasted.
The coffee originated in the 1800s in the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, and is still big business in the country with coffee producing plantations across the islands. Its harvesting, however, has now also spread to other parts of Asia like Vietnam and the Philippines and even to Peru - the world's biggest producer and exporter of organic coffee - where beans are roasted from the dung of a raccoon like animal called the coati.
Coffee connoisseurs are willing to pay anywhere from $20 to $65 for a cup of the civet coffee and on Amazon.com the price of the beans range from $40 for 100 grams to nearly $350 for one kilogram. But before shelling out a premium for the drink, consumers should be aware that there is a growing market of fake civet beans. In Vietnam, nearly every vendor in the country's highlands coffee-growing region claims to sell civet coffee for a cheaper price, according to media reports.