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New Delhi Restaurant Run by Indian Convicts Proves Big Hit

Tihar Food Court, a new restaurant in New Delhi, serves its customers a regular fare of north Indian dishes – rice, flatbreads, lentils, samosas, and more. You’d probably get to eat these dishes at many other restaurants in India’s capital, but here’s what’s special about Tihar Food Court – the food is prepared and served by convicts serving time for murder at New Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail.

The restaurant opened earlier this month within the sprawling Tihar complex – South Asia’s largest prison – as a rehabilitation effort on an experimental basis. It is a rather simple eatery with indoor and outdoor seating for around 50 customers, and cream colored walls decorated with paintings made by prisoners. The small staff consists of a manager who is also a police constable, and seven convicts who have displayed good behavior over several years of imprisonment.

To be eligible to leave prison for a few hours of work at the restaurant, inmates must have a high school education and need to have maintained an ‘unblemished’ record for at least 12 years. They mostly pick prisoners who are due to be released within two years time, so they don’t feel too tempted to escape. The inmates walk or ride a cycle to work everyday completely unsupervised, as the authorities apparently trust them enough not to provide an escort.

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New Pay-by-Picture Restaurant Lets Patrons Pay for their Food with Photos

I always thought people taking pictures of their food was kind of silly, but at this new pop-up restaurant in the UK, I’d probably do it too. ‘The Picture House’ is the world’s first pay-by-photo restaurant – you order, click a photo of the food, share on Instagram and eat for free!

The restaurant belongs to frozen food giant Birds Eye, who came up with the idea to cash in on people’s obsession with photographing food and sharing the pics online. They conducted a survey and found out that more than half of the Brit population regularly took pictures of their meals, nine percent of them on a daily basis. So they realized, what better way to advertize their new dining range than with hashtags?

The pop-up eatery was open in Soho, London for three days in May, and is now moving to other major UK cities. They serve two-course meals that customers don’t have to pay for, if they snap and Instagram it. “We wanted to tap into this social media trend and create a new reason for people to talk about and sample our inspirations range,” said marketing director Margaret Jobling.

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World’s Most Expensive Restaurant to Charge $2,000 per Meal

The world’s most expensive restaurant is all set to open on the party island of Ibiza. Playa d’en Bossa, a major holiday resort in Ibiza is going to be home to the new Hard Rock Hotel. This exclusive new venue will include a new restaurant called Sublimotion, which is being described as an unparalleled gastro-sensory venture. Patrons will be served elaborate 20-course meals at a whopping cost of $2,000 per head.

The five-star restaurant, headed by Michelin-starred chef Paco Roncero, has an exclusive concept – to accept only 12 guests at a time and provide them ‘an experience for all the senses’. The menu, which is yet to be revealed, promises a ‘complete and unprecedented emotional experience’ to all the diners. “The dishes will cause a stir among the most neglected senses; from moments of humor, pleasure, fear, reflection and nostalgia, diners will be wandering through a world of sensations from the North Pole where they will enjoy a cold snack that they carve on their own iceberg or to the baroque Versailles where the elegance of a rose is sure to melt in their palate,” a spokesperson said. That does sound like a quite a ‘mouthful’.

The ambience at Sublimotion is also designed to titillate the senses. The spokesperson said that there would be ‘state-of-the-art’ systems that create a ‘vivid setting transcending human senses’. Roncero, who is considered to be Spain’s most famous chef, said: “We are very excited about the opening of Sublimotion and believe our guests will enjoy a culinary experience they’ve never previously encountered. We are so delighted to be working with Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza in one of the most international islands in the world.”

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Dinner with a Bang at Tokyo’s Airsoft Restaurant

EA Bar is a new themed restaurant in Tokyo that caters exclusively to airsoft lovers. Pronounced ‘air’, the restaurant has its own airsoft shooting range and a very impressive collection of airsoft guns, fashioned after lethal weapons. That’s not all – the theme extends to the cocktail menu, with all the drinks named after guns. And, to top it all off, the food is decorated with tiny army action figures.

Airsoft guns, which are replica firearms with plastic or environmentally safe pellets, have become very popular in Japan. This explains the restaurant’s success – lovers of the sport don’t need to drive out all the way to rural fields to fire their guns. After a tiring day at work, they get to unwind at a shooting range in the heart of the city, and enjoy a nice hot meal at the same time.

EA is located in Kichijoji, a posh Tokyo neighborhood. Customers aren’t bound by a shooting-related dress code, given that the restaurant’s interiors are modern and chic. Among the various dishes served are pasta, risotto and a selection of curries. Some of the drinks on the cocktail menu include a chocolate liqueur called Glock 18c, a SPAS12 with absinthe, and a vodka-based Thomson.

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Mies Container Restaurant – South Korea’s Hooters for Women

‘Mies Container’ is a strange name for a restaurant. But its theme is unique and refreshing – factory-style décor and extremely good-looking male waitstaff. The restaurant, located in Gangnam District – one of Seoul’s most hip locations – has been dubbed ‘Hooters for Women’. In a city where people are not exactly known for their patience, Koreans are actually waiting in endless lines outside Mies Container – that’s how popular it has become. And about nine out of ten customers are always women!

The atmosphere inside Mies pretty much screams one word – Macho. The open loft structure is constructed like a factory, with the slogan ‘Wipe and Tighten and Oil!’ written on the wall in Korean. They even have numbered construction helmets to identify orders. All the waiters are young and hot (and male), and overly friendly towards customers, especially women.

One waiter was overheard telling a customer: ‘You have excellent taste in picking from the menu.’ Handsome men who are attentive and appreciative? No wonder this place is a hit with the ladies. And the customers aren’t exactly bashful while returning the compliments. There’s a wall right next to the cashier filled with little notes like: ‘Dear hot waiter, please marry me!’ – that’s just one of the decent ones.

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America’s Most Exclusive Restaurant Has a 5-Year Waiting List

Damon Baehrel has what most chefs in the world would kill for – a restaurant with a five-year waiting list. The restaurant is aptly named after himself; in his own words he’s “the chef, the waiter, the grower, the forager, the gardener, the cheesemaker, the cured-meat maker,” and everything on the menu comes from his 12-acre property.

Formerly known as the Basement Bistro, the place is actually located in Baehrel’s basement and has only 12 tables. Each night, he cooks and serves a 15-course meal for 18 guests. Although he has never received professional training, Baehrel is a master of molecular gastronomy. All of his small bites are dehydrated, infused and tinctured on their way from the garden to the table.

One of his signature dishes is a palate cleanser called the ‘sumac flavored ice slush’. It involves the steeping of sumac leaves to make tea, to which he adds liquefied wild violet stems (cut from his backyard) and a dozen varieties of fresh grapes (from his garden). He freezes the mixture and serves up one spoonful for a refreshing bite.

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New ChocoChicken Restaurant to Specialize in Chocolate Deep-Fried Chicken

After the insanely popular Cronuts (Croissants + Donuts), the latest trend in food mashups is all set to hit the market. A new restaurant in California is combining two of the world’s most favorite foods – chocolate and fried chicken.

‘ChocoChicken’ is the brainchild of Adam Fleischman, founder and CEO of the patty chain Umami Burger. In his latest invention, he plunges pieces of chicken into chocolate-infused batter before frying them in hot oil.

I cannot quite imagine what this might taste like. Savory? Sweet? Somewhere in between, perhaps? According to Fleischman, it tastes like nothing you’ve eaten before. “ChocoChicken is completely different than anything else out there,” he said. “This isn’t traditional fried chicken, or even chicken just dipped in chocolate. It is a whole new style of fried chicken that you just have to taste to believe.”

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Chinese Restaurant Allows Patrons to Pay What They Want, Is Obviously Losing Money

A small, self-service restaurant in China’s Fujian province runs on a unique concept – no bills! The owner expects diners to pay whatever they think is the true price of the meal. Predictably, many people don’t pay anything at all.

The restaurant, called Five Loaves and Two Fish, opened this August in downtown Fuzhou. It is named after the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people by multiplying fish and bread. Patrons are required to wash their own plates and bowls after eating, and place money in a drop-box before leaving.

50-year-old interior designer Liu Pengfei, the majority investor, said he got the idea for the restaurant after heard about the ‘suspended meals’ projects in some countries. These projects allow people to pay in advance for a beverage or meal, for someone who really needs it. “Hearing about it, I was deeply moved,” Liu said. “I felt a heartwarming sense of trust because of it.” And that’s the concept Five Loaves is based on – trust.

While the concept sounds really amazing, things aren’t exactly going as expected for Liu and his team. According to Peng Yong, chef and co-investor, around 20 percent of diners walk out without paying anything. The restaurant has been running losses – 250,000 yuan ($41,170) – even though it is packed every day. Just maintaining the place, which is located in a central location, costs 60,000 yuan a month.

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Mas Provencal – The Perfect Restaurant for Flower Enthusiasts

When you first step into Mas Provencal on the outskirts of Eze Village, you’re likely to mistake it for a greenhouse. Located close to the city of Nice in southeastern France, this restaurant has way more flowers than tables.

Mas Provencal’s interior décor is pretty special, perhaps even one-of-a-kind. Almost every square inch is covered with fresh flowers – roses, orchids, ivy, glads and more. There are plants everywhere and it takes some squinting to even spot the sign board. The large amount of flora either enthralls diners, or leaves them a bit overwhelmed. One tourist called the decorations “fabulously gaudy.” I don’t think I could have put it any better.

Inside the restaurant, each table is done up with elaborate center pieces made of flowers. Exotic trees adorn the passageways and you can spot a few carnivorous plants in the crowd. Antique knick-knacks are scattered everywhere. A large glass enclosed waterfall containing ferns is also part of the décor. The best part – diners can munch on grapes and cherry tomatoes hanging from the ceiling at arm’s reach.

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French Restaurants Seat Guests by How Good-Looking They Are

Looks are undoubtedly very important, but some people make too much of physical appearance. A group of restaurants in Paris is accused by two of their former employees of seating clients according to their good-looks. “The good-looking ones are led to the good places, where they can be easily seen”, claim the former employees, and “as for the non-good-looking ones, it is imperative that they be dispatched to the corners of the room”.

The restaurants accused of having such a shallow policy are strategically situated near popular tourist attractions: Le Georges is in the the famous Centre Pompidou, while Cafe Marly is located near the Louvre museum. Apparently, this marketing strategy has a lot to do with the way in which the two restaurants are perceived by those passing by them. In fact, the staff members in charge of placing the guests at their tables were allegedly confronted for seating less attractive people at the best tables. “What are these ugly mugs doing at this table? Everyone can see them when they come in. It’s very bad for our image,” the employees were allegedly reprimanded when they broke the rule.  The only exception to this rule are celebrities, who, regardless of their looks, are automatically offered the the best seats in the house.

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Canadian Girl Is Dating Her Way into Toronto’s Top Restaurants

A 23-year-old struggling actress from Canada is trying to prove you don’t have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to enjoy the finest cuisine Toronto restaurants have to offer. With a predestined name like Erin Wotherspoon, this Canadian foodie is on a mission to date any rich men who can afford to satisfy her appetite for gourmet food.

Burgers and fries? That’s not this girl’s idea of a fine meal, and to make sure she gets the best food money can buy, she goes out on fancy dinner dates with unsuspecting men and then ditches them. She wines and dines every night of the week with different gents and then spills the beans on her blog where she writes snippets of her usually-bad but sometimes-good dates. “I’ve got a pretty face and a pretty extensive Urban Spoon wish list. We all know that getting what you want in life can be tough. Which is why I’ve decided to let someone else finance my dreams. My dream? To eat in pretty restaurants without costing me a penny,” the introductory message on her site reads. Erin likes to chew and tell, and confirms that there is no such thing as a free meal, suggesting that readers should “follow me to learn who I screw over, bang and love as I navigate Toronto’s diners, drive-ins and dives.”

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Delicias del Sol – Chile’s Sun-Powered Restaurant

The people in Villaseca, Chile are some of the most the eco-concious on the Planet, using only sun-powered ovens to cook all their food. With these ovens, which can generate temperatures up to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit), the villagers can prepare all kinds of dishes, including vegetables, meats and even deserts.

At first, cooking with solar energy was a necessity, due to the scarcity of wood in the country, which forced the villagers to spend hours on end every day looking for wood so they could eat. Two decades ago, the poor people of Villaseca were facing a tough wood crisis because of the desertification of the region. Every day, one member of the family had to go looking for wood to burn in their ovens so they could cook and eat warm meals. Thankfully, Rojas, a woman who lives in the Elqui Valley, and four other women were chosen to be guinea pigs in a trial project involving solar energy, conducted by the University of Chile. They were given specially engineered ovens that captured the sun’s rays and allowed any kind of food to be cooked in a heated compartment. The idea was well received, since the arid region is extremely sunny with more than 300 days of sunshine every year. Now, their sustainable ovens are the area’s main attraction and, the people there eat healthier because sun-cooked food lacks the carbon dioxide that emanates from burning wood.

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Seeing Double – Russian Restaurant Only Hires Sets of Identical Twins as Staff

A restaurant owner in Moscow promises you will have such a great time in his establishment that you are going to see double, not because of the strong vodka, but because the staff is made up exclusively of identical twin brothers and sisters.

Aptly called Twin Stars, the Russian restaurant employs only twin bartenders and wait staff as a gimmick to attract more customers and prides itself on being the only such restaurant in the world. Alexei Khodorovsky, the owner of Twin Stars, says he was inspired by a 1960s movie where a girl finds herself in a parallel universe and discovers there’s another version of her – her twin. The idea seems fun and both the customers and the twin staff say they’ve enjoyed the experience thus far. “We worked as barmen before this summer in a different establishment. It was an internship for us,” Artyem, who works with his identical brother Roman at the bar, says. We really liked that internship. That’s why we decided this profession suits us and we came here to work.” Finding people like Artyem and Roman was a true challenge. Identical pairs with experience working in a restaurant were very hard to track down, but the effort was worthwhile because as Nika, another member of the unique staff, says “One pair (of twins) is already fun – when there are two, it’s even more fun.”

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No Talking Allowed During New York Restaurant’s Silent Dining Experience

Do you remember how you always had to be quiet at the dinner table when you were young but never understood why? Now that you’re all grown up, with children of your own, you probably wish you could have just one more of those quiet dinners. If quiet is what you seek, you’re in luck, as now you can enjoy a four-course meal in complete silence at the Eat restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn where you have to be quiet and enjoy the food, whether you like it or not.

Nicholas Nauman, head chef and curator of the silent-dinner experience, got the idea for the event during a trip to India where he admired the Buddhist monks having their breakfast every morning without uttering a word. In a competing market where restaurant owners are coming up with the most unusual concepts to attract customers – such as dining in pitch-dark, the 28-year-old thought this idea would gain popularity. “It’s just an opportunity to enjoy food in a way you might not have otherwise,” he says. This way, he hopes to “reconfigure the relationship between a space and food” by forcing customers to focus on their plates rather than on the countless distractions that occur while sitting at the dinner table.

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Danish Restaurant Serves Dishes Made with Food Thrown Away by Supermarkets

A new Danish restaurant called “Rub og Stub” is offering patrons dishes cooked with ingredients supermarkets throw away, hoping to reduce food waste and raise money for charity.  According to Sophie Sales, the co-founder of the restaurant “Too much food is thrown away in Denmark, and we wanted to do something about it.” So far, the restaurant has been able to offer “everything from lamb chops and duck breast, to big bags of grapes and dairy products,” Sales explains, courtesy of two supermarket chains belonging to Coop Danmark – the country’s biggest grocery retailer.

The idea for Rub og Stub came from Denmark’s “freegans”, which are better known as dumpster divers. In an attempt to reduce food waste, these people look through trash and consume the edible morsels they find. The ingenious team thought that it would be very good to use this unconventional idea for their restaurant.The tendency to look for the freshest, most beautiful produce has a real impact on the way supermarkets do business, forcing vendors to throw out food that might not look flawless but is still safe to eat. According to Businessweek, in 2012 Americans threw out the equivalent of about $180 billion” worth of food — 8 percent more than in 2008, the last time the USDA calculated the total value of food loss from households, supermarkets, restaurants, and other food-service providers. As Sales and her team are very interested in “food, sustainability and modern consumer society,” this matter is of utmost importance to them.

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