At the Ka Tron Restaurant, in Bangkok, Thailand, food is handled like heavy artillery. Its famous fried chickens are set ablaze and launched from a massive catapult at unicycle-riding waiters who catch them on metal skewers. How is that for dinner and a show?
Popularly known as the “Flying Chicken Restaurant”, Ka Tron proves a great gimmick really can make up for average food. Hardly any of the dishes served here are prepared in a truly unique way, they are just your run of the mill Thai recipes, but it’s the way they are served that sets this place apart from all the other eateries not only in Thailand, but the whole world. The chicken is carried out on a silver platter not to the diners, but to a long platform raised a couple of feet above the ground in the middle of the outdoor dining area, and set on one of the several metal catapults. A waiter riding a unicycle makes his way to the platform and stops a few feet away of the loaded catapult. As he struggles to keep his balance and concentrate on what comes next, the edible projectile is set on fire and launched from the medieval artillery device. The chicken soars through the air and most often than not lands on metal skewers the waiter holds in both his hands, in his mouth and on his head.
Catching a catapulted flying chicken while riding a unicycle sounds almost impossible, but the waiters’ success rate is nothing short of impressive. Ka Tron has been operating for 26 years, and of the hundreds of thousands of chickens launched into the air during that time, only a few hundred have missed their mark. The chicken lands on patrons’ tables on the skewer it landed on, with a Thai flag where its head used to be. The Flying Chicken claims its airborne fowl is bathed in a special marinade to enhance its flavor, but who cares about the taste after witnessing such a unique spectacle?
If you’re ever in Bangkok, the Ka Tron is definitely a must-see attraction. And if you fancy yourself a skilled unicycle rider, ask for a chance to prove yourself, and you might just get the chance to catch your own food.