29 February 2012

Eat Like A Geek

In today’s metropolitan world, gadgets and gizmos reign supreme. So is it really any wonder that technology, in all its intricate and ever-astonishing forms, is slowly seeping into the way we eat? From touch screen menus and interactive table tops, to sushi-wielding robots; are restaurants on the cusp of being transformed into realms that had previously been confined to comic books and sci-fi films? For all you technophiles, gadget-fans and big kids out there, it’s time to rejoice and get yourself down to one of these geek-friendly eateries, which could be a glimpse into the future of day-to-day restaurant dining.

INAMO, LONDON 

You are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to dining at this state-of-the-art Oriental fusion restaurant. Inamo’s interactive table tops allow you to browse its fully illustrated menu, order with a mere tap of your finger, and then while away the time amusing yourself with its never-ending features; all of which are artfully projected onto your table top. Adjust your table’s design to set the mood, look up a nearby bar or club to continue your night, and when you’re ready to leave, use it to order your taxi home. This is as bespoke as dining experiences come.

MOJO iCUISINE, TAIPEI, TAIWAN  

Moxie Design are the people behind this Taipei treasure that is simply brimming with high tech trickery and ultramodern style. The bar leisurely fades from one neon hue to the next as futuristic purple pods float above each table, projecting touch screen menus onto the surface below. Interactive tabletops aren’t just limited to menu browsing and game playing here however; they can remember your preferences and make suggestions for your next meal or drink according to your choices. Pretty clever, we think. Even the food itself is intriguingly high tech, with a concoction of Western, Asian and a generous dash of molecular gastronomy for good measure.

MIZUYA RESTAURANT, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 

Simplicity and high-tech style is the name of the game at this alluring Japanese eatery. Tables are set out in chic, intimate booths, each with their own touch screen menu mounted on the wall. Browse the extensive array of Izakaya style Japanese dishes and simply tap to order straight to your table; no waiters required. To add that little something extra to your dining experience, there’s Karaoke available in the restaurant’s lavish private dining rooms.

S’ BAGGERS, NUREMBERG, GERMANY 

You would be forgiven for thinking that the metallic spiral structures found above the tables at s’ Baggers were some kind of futuristic modern art; they do, in fact, serve another purpose. Once you’ve tapped away on your personal touch screen menu and ordered from the endless array of delectable dishes on offer (complete with extensive details on where each ingredient is sourced), watch your food serenely glide down the spiral tracks and onto your table; a gourmet gift from above. But that’s not all. Use your touch screens to leave reviews, draw up your own personal menu of favourite dishes, email friends, and even arrange to pay your bill at a later date – payday perhaps? What will they think of next.

HAJIME DALU ROBOT RESTAURANT, JINAN, CHINA 

Walk in the door to this restaurant and be greeted with a friendly ‘welcome’ from two female hosts. Perfectly normal you may think? Apart from the fact that they’re robots, eerily clad in a doll-like rubber skin and clothes, complete with perfectly styled hair and oversized eyelashes. But please don’t let the welcome party put you off; for once inside this neon blue-tinged place, sci-fi fans will be rewarded with a team of dutiful C-3P0-like robot servers, each cheerfully wheeling around plates of food and trays of drinks to amused (and bemused) guests. The service here is pretty reliable – which is more than you can say for many other places – but we’re pretty sure that they wouldn’t notice if you didn’t leave a tip.

TAKE ME THERE

If any of these futuristic eateries have got your taste buds a-flutter, and got you in the mood for some gourmet travelling, combine your culinary inquisitiveness with the many other cultural tidbits these destinations have on offer. From Australia’s cosmopolitan cities, to fiery festivities in Taiwan, visit Black Tomato for information and booking.

Words by Claire Wilson

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