Well, we’ve tried dining in total darkness – see our review on Dans Le Noir – but dining stark naked might be an even more dystopian experience. I guess its fine for the young and fit, but perhaps not for late middle-aged adults when, to be frank, things are beginning to droop and sag. Here a combination of darkness and nudity might be a more sensible option.
However this is no barrier to the avant-garde outfit responsible for ABQ , the Breaking Bad-inspired cocktail bar, which has announced a 3-month pop-up restaurant to bring us a ‘new dining experience in The Bunyadi, described as London’s first naked restaurant. – perhaps a culinary paradise for exhibitionists and voyeurs alike, although the restaurant plans do seem to allow for a degree of privacy, with tables in the naked dining area separated by partitions.
After successfully attracting more than 65,000 cocktail aficionados to mix molecular drinks in the dystopian world of ABQ, the company behind this, Lollipop, wants to take diners to a beginning which it describes as a place where everything was fresh, free and unadulterated from the trappings of modern life.
The publicity blurb goes on to say that ‘with great attention to detail, The Bunyadi plans to use only the most natural, home-grown ingredients to envelope its patrons in a Pangea-like world, free from phones, electric lights and even clothing (not compulsory)! Guests will enjoy wood-flame grilled meals served on handmade clay crockery and edible cutlery, in a space void of the industrialised-world’s modern trappings. They will dine under a canopy of candle lights, creatively partitioned with bamboo and wicker, as they recline on wood-hewn furniture.’
It goes on to say ‘We believe people should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colours, no electricity, no gas, no phone and even no clothes if they wish to. The idea is to experience true liberation.’
Seb Lyall, the founder of Lollipop says The Bunyadi pop up experience is set to take place in central London. The venue is specifically designed to be split into two sections (pure and clothed), and has a capacity of forty-two. At the time of this announcement there was already a waiting list of over 3,700 people – relating to people signed up on the bunyadi.com website – but this has grown at the time of writing to comfortably over 25,000 sign-ups and rising.
Lollipop plans to open the restaurant to the public in June. “We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked. The use of natural bamboo partitions and candlelight has enabled us to make the restaurant discreet, whilst adhering to the ethos behind it. No doubt, this has been the most challenging project for us yet, which makes us very excited about it” says Lyall.
The pop-up will run for three months, Tickets will be released on first come first served basis to registrants on the website. There will be options of vegan and a non-vegan tasting menu cooked on wood fire. Gowns, changing rooms and lockers provided which at least suggests diners in the naked section – according to some initial plans on the website looks like being the greater part of the restaurant – will be able to get to their places without fully exposing themselves, which may be of some comfort to those takers who may not be out and out exhibitionists.
Now how many of the 25,000 sign-ups on the website will actually be prepared to bare all for the as yet unpriced eating out experience, but with what appears to be limited table availability one suspects that there will be enough to make this a potentially profitable exercise – with huge publicity for the organisers. We’re not offering to review this but we’d be most interested to hear from any Barbican resident who takes up the experience. In the meantime we’ll probably contain any naked dining to our own residence!