By Alexi Duggins1 day ago
There’s a restaurant in Knightsbridge where the plates have nipples.
Kyoto Nights, a new "naked sushi experience" at Pan-Asian resto-bar Buddha Bar draws its inspiration from Nyotaimori – the ancient Japanese art of scoffing raw fish from nudey ladies. Then it plonks a few dozen sushi rolls onto plastic leaves laid upon the bellies, shins and thighs of one man and two women and charges punters to pluck them from their naked bodies.
Except, they’re not actually naked. The female food trays use diamante nipple covers to protect their pointy parts and all three are clad in weird floral nappies. Which, given the curious vagina-like orchid nestling between their thighs, is probably not the most flattering garment for the man plate.
"Yeah, this is one of the more bizarre gigs I’ve done," explains Shane, the manliest of tonight’s serving dishes – and professional model in his dayjob – as giggling guests snap selfies whilst gobbling from near his crotch. "Shane!", yells a grumpy looking man in a suit, shirt open at the neck like a member of the Cameron government. "Your right thigh tastes extraordinary! God, you’re sweet Shane!"
As guests dig in, the human beings they’re using as crockery chatter responses to their questions. "No, it’s not cold, but the leaves are a bit wet". "The other model looks like me? Yeah, she’s my twin sister". And "Eat it? No I’m actually a veggie: I don’t touch meat or fish," explains one, in direct contradiction of the evidence.
In general, the sushi is delicious. Springy salmon nigiri, pre-laden with punchy wasabi. Sesame-seed studded maki rolls with squidgy tuna centres. But the selection of lukewarm sashimi slices that have been warmed to room temperature by the models’ skin? Not so much. "What… What is that?" asks one of the models as she rubs at her skin. Under her finger is a greasy smear of sashimi liquid.
At 9.30pm, it’s all over. A lady in a ball gown sweeps in, hisses "You alright, babes?", swaddles the women in robes, plucks the leaves away and leads them to a back room. "God, I’ve just eaten sushi off two naked twins!" exclaims one happy customer. "I don’t even know how to put that in a Facebook status update." And with that, the evening is done.
Until an easy-listening version of ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears cranks up and the two female models strut back in wearing cats’ ears and fishnet leather onesies. They strip to thongs and bounce their bumcheeks in time to the music while pouring milk over each other. Then as their burlesque performance finishes, the night actually ends. And when you think about it, this is an utterly ingenious way to bring things to a close. After all, you don’t just finish with a show. It’s also a sneaky way to wash off the fish smell.
buddhabarlondon.com,145 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7PA, 020 3667 5222