Who’s up for dining in a giant coffin? How about a restaurant decked out to look like a hospital, where waitresses dress in old-fangled white nurses’ uniforms and cocktails are delivered via IV drip?
Restaurants fitting those descriptions exist, along with others like them, some right here in New York. But what sets Chaopraya Antique Café in Thailand apart from these whimsical places is that while they are all strange by design, it achieved its unprecedented appeal via an act of God. Recently, the town of Nonthaburi, where the riverside café is located, was hit by a severe tropical storm and heavy monsoon rains. The river swelled, ultimately spilling into the restaurant — which has remained packed with mostly young customers ever since. All come more for the floor show (make that the tide show?) than the food.
The Associated Press quotes one customer, 24-year-old Siripoj Wai-inta, as explaining, “This is a great atmosphere. During this flood crisis this has became the restaurant’s signature attraction. So I wanted to challenge myself and try out this new experience.” He and other happy customers grow giddy as the waters around them rise, sometimes by as much as two feet.
The restaurant’s owner has dubbed the attraction “hot-pot surfing.”