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2023 Author: Cody Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 11:20
And then London, Tokyo. There itchy craving to dine naked is rapidly gaining a foothold worldwide, and now who gives it up anymore?
In fact, the Japanese restaurant "Amrita" (in Sanskrit it means immortality, and we still have to find out what immortality has to do with eating naked), which will open in Tokyo on July 29th, is practically a copy of the now well-known Bunyadi in London, with the only difference that the Japanese, more aesthetic than the English, have forbidden entry to overweight, tattooed and elderly people over 60, considered a not so pleasant sight for those who are having their meal.
But what exactly is it like to eat at Bunyadi, the first nudist restaurant?
With the help of Hannah Betts, a journalist for the Daily Telegraph, one of the lucky ones who managed to access the nudist restaurant, let's try to understand better if really going to Bunyadi - to eat, let's specify - is an experience that deserves.
Mysterious. It is communicated only to those who book; for others, just know that the place is located in the south of London. The reason for keeping such a secret - of Pulcinella, as word of mouth is worse than smartphones - is unknown, but it will probably have to do with the protection of privacy to be assured to customers that they will go to dine naked as mom did them.
Or, more simply, to give an aura of mystery to this new type of restaurant, who knows. It is of no relevance, of course, but in the meantime you have been informed: you will not find the address on the internet.
If you are used to going to a restaurant, you will think of the usual waiter who, more or less affably, will greet you and point you to the table. None of this at the Bunyadi: a bearded guy will ask you without much compliments to take off your clothes, in a special dressing room, not just clothes (which you can, however, replace with a simple and light dressing gown if you want), a rather negligible aspect, but above all to each technological appendix aka smartphone.
At this point, the journalist's partner went out and kicked a (fake) bamboo tree that decorated the room. Be regular, then: if you are social addict or food porn maniac, forget it. If you're just porn, we can talk about it.
Attention, not the climate in the sense of setting, but the temperature of the environment: at Bunyadi it is hot. So hot that it is not clear if the heating is kept tight (and it is not known how, given that the place shuns any modernity or technology) because people are naked or if instead it is the customers who strip naked because of the unbearable heat.
The journalist reports a pleasant comparison that will make you understand immediately what we are talking about: she says she feels like in a Japanese internment camp. In short, forget breezy airs and a pleasantly cool climate. Here we eat in the heat. To the torrid, indeed.
Have you wondered what “Bunyadi” means? In Hindy it means “natural, basic”, pure, whole. And the whole restaurant is set accordingly: no means of the modern era, no telephones but not even no electric lights in the room, nothing that can make you remember being in the 2.0 era.
Which means dining by candlelight, with wooden tables and clay plates, and perhaps, for a restaurant of this type, it's not even too bad.
Too bad that you will be separated from the other diners by simple bamboo dividers, and so, naked and sweaty in the dim light of the candles, you will be able to see with pleasure that you are not the only ones to feel a slight sense of embarrassment: you will understand it from the very formal tenor of the conversations of others, which will range, as in the elevator, from the time it will take to the cricket match: very intimate topics suitable for the dim light of the candle.
No, rest assured, we are not talking about Massimo Bottura, but about the philosophy behind the restaurant, the idea. And here the idea does not seem too original or philosophical, let's say that Kant was something else.
The basic concept explained to the journalist by Sebastian Lyall, one of the founders, is quite simple: all modernities are evil, it was better when it was worse, "before", at the time of the supercontinent Pangea, we were all purer while now our body, that of women in particular, is only seen as an object and our culture has made us slaves to stereotypes about sex, which then also led us to heinous crimes of a sexual nature (let's say that the type perhaps was enlarged a little).
In short, modernity has taken away our purity.
In the restaurant, however, we will return to regain confidence with our body and to conceive it as de-sexualized, aseptic and pure. Well … restaurant philosophy, that's it.
Surprise: the restaurant is not vegan. Or rather, it's not just vegan, as you might expect from such a pure place. In fact, the companion of the journalist, to play down the heavy atmosphere created in the restaurant, seems to have given himself up to easy jokes saying.. "here is a place where a good amount of vegans will be disappointed".
In any case, the food is "natural", "bio", generally raw, since there is no use of gas or other modern devilry for cooking. However, there seems to be a power generator connected to a bicycle! Don't laugh, that's it. Only the curiosity arises to see in the face who will be placed up there pedaling, poor fellow.
The restaurant seats just over 40, and the meal will cost you around sixty pounds, just over 70 euros.
Not many, not even very few; but you know, to experience the thrill of entering the only nudist restaurant, in addition to the one that will open in Tokyo, and which is also "temporary" (so hurry up) they will not seem excessive, we know.
After three hours spent in the heat, with the probable stench of other people's bodies taking over the nostrils, the semi-darkness of candlelight and hypnotic conversations, the journalist going out into the open air had a feeling of slight numbness, while the her partner looking at the chicken restaurant across the street begged her more prosaically: "please, can't we just go there to eat?".
One wonders what he did, the poor boy "over" to eat while the sweet companion was intent on eavesdropping on the conversations of others. But maybe we can do an idea, since he took care to tell his partner: "you know, dear, you have the most beautiful breasts: trust me, I've looked at them all..".
Do you understand, the pure?
But there is also another kind of conclusion that can be reached. To other more disenchanted eyes who have tried this "culinary experience", the whole thing may seem like just the latest, yet another commercial deal, a clever marketing question.
The laudable (?) Intention to de-sexualize the body? Those who remember when the whole setting, from the semi-darkness of candlelight to the great variety of foods flavored with pepper and spices, seems instead to want to divert us towards a simple and banal voyeurism.
It is also one thing to have an elderly nudist couple with an obsolescent body as a neighbor. But what about the young waitress in an Adamic costume who, as she approaches, relentlessly and involuntarily awakens the lowest sexual instincts? What fools we are, even those were present in the age of Pangea, weren't they?