Taipei bar lets diners tipple from IV tubes

TAIPEI - A Taipei restaurant-bar is letting visitors order "medicine" from a menu and dripping it into their glasses from a transparent ceiling-suspended vat, becoming the latest oddball themed restaurant in Taiwan's capital.

As many as 10 visitors can sit around each bed at the D.S. Music Restaurant, a hospital-themed eatery, and watch showgirls dance on weekend nights or chat up "nurses" whose rabbit-ears complement their starched white uniforms.

The 130-seat restaurant, which features crutches hung from the walls and a wheelchair parked in the lobby, is the only one with a hospital theme in Taiwan.

Other touches include a sign marked "emergency room" leading to the toilets.

"Food is hard to compete on with other restaurants, so the part we emphasise is service," says assistant manager Ou Chia-hao, brother of the 29-year-old owner.

"In Taipei, pressure on people is high, and they want a place near home where they can feel relaxed."

Ou's brother opened D.S. last year with T$5 million ($202,198) to express his enthusiasm for the care he got at a hospital when he was treated for a liver disorder.

Two more D.S. branches are in the works, with plans to open by the end of next year, Ou said.

The spot is the latest in a string of strange-themed eateries in Taipei, as local entrepreneurs cater to people with a taste for the quirky and offbeat.

The Jail puts some of its restaurant tables behind bars, while another serves full-course meals in toilet bowls.

Years ago, a Taipei bistro tried a Holocaust theme, but eventually removed items and photos reminiscent of Nazi Germany brutality under pressure from Jewish groups.

- REUTERS

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