Fine dining pop-ups are often meant to be eye-opening culinary adventures.
But a new London restaurant is upping the ante with a dining concept that really gives your eyes something to feast on, since diners are invited to eat in the nude.
The Bunyadi is a clothing-optional, pop-up restaurant slated to open in London this June. The bare-bones concept is the branchild of Seb Lyall, a restaurateur behind last year’s “Breaking Bad” bar.
Lyall says his concept isn’t just about dining naked—but the back-to-basics theme is carried out through the entire experience. The menu is devoid of artificial colors and chemicals. There are no electric lights or smartphones permitted in the candelit dining area which features natural-looking wooden furniture.
Traditionalists may balk at Lyall’s idea but since the Pangea-themed restaurant announced its opening, over 25,000 people have signed up for the eatery's waitlist.
Lyall says his social experiment-meets-eatery will challenge participants assumptions about nudity and what modern society deems “natural.” Eating without clothes is now an “act of rebellion” in the modern world-- even though humans get naked all the time.
“When you get a chance, you take your clothes off,” he told The Washington Post. “When you get in bed, you take your clothes off. When you go to the beach or a sauna, you take your clothes off. It’s natural.”
Upon arrival, patrons will be directed to disrobe in a changing room where clothing and other trappings of modernity can be stored in a locker. To avoid contaminating chairs, diners are seated on robes.
In the restaurant itself, diners will feast on “wood-flame-grilled meats served on handmade clay crockery and edible cutlery, in a space void of the industrialized world’s modern trappings.” Plastic and metals are banned from the kitchen—as well as the dining room as all cutlery will be edible. There will also be vegan options.
To avoid food sanitation issues backstage, kitchen staff are permitted to cover up while they prepare food. Waiters, however, will have “minimal covering.”
Bunyadi—which the restaurant says comes from a Hindi term meaning 'fundamental', 'base' or 'natural' – may celebrate nakedness but its creator has built in elements of modesty for diners on the shy side.
“Every table that you sit at is designed so that the sight is obstructed between other dining parties,” Lyall said. “The restaurant is partitioned or there’s bamboo or you only see someone’s back or a silhouette or their shadows from candles.”
And photography is strictly prohibited.
Dining at The Bunyundi starts at $80 for a five-course meal.