The Bunyadi Naked Restaurant

London | | 11/08/2016

The Bunyadi is a concept pop-up restaurant which welcomed naked diners in London’s Elephant & Castle from 11 June to 31 July 2016.

The evening after we stripped off and ate a ‘natural’ dinner at The Bunyadi, both our respective parents happened to host parties. For the entirety of their bashes, we both had several 60-something neighbours and godparents approaching us with a nod nod, wink wink, and asking us to describe our unusual latest experience (obviously we’d put one of our contraband but less-revealing photos from the night on Facebook, because if you don’t go to a naked restaurant to show off that you’ve gone to a naked restaurant, why would you?).

To save any other confused people the head scratching, we’re going to answer some of the queries we’ve received below.

Did you actually get fully naked? Like… fully?

Yes, as did everyone else. We were given gowns and slippers as we walked in, and after changing in the locker area, we stepped out feverishly with our white towel robes half undone. As soon as it actually sunk in that no, we weren’t getting any funny looks, because yes, we were indeed supposed to be starkers, we went for the whole hog and stayed like that for the rest of the evening.

Were the waiters naked too?

More or less. Both sexes were completely on display except for a little thong on their down-belows. Because the boss guessed correctly, we didn’t want anyone’s ding dong hanging in our bò búns.

What was the food like? 

Ok, we didn’t eat bò búns or any other Vietnamese cuisine, that just rhymed semi-well. It’s difficult to put a finger on exactly what type of cuisine we ate. If there were a country full of naked people who don’t have access to gas or electricity, and believe only in the goodness of nature as she was intended, it would be that nation’s official cuisine. That’s to say, raw, raw, throw in something wood-fired or smoked, and then some more raw.

Our starter of raw vegetables with hummus was… debatable, but the stack of home-baked bread was full of flavour and texture. The next course of steak tartare was honestly delicious, and eating with edible cutlery was quite the novelty. We got too drunk to now remember exactly what this was served with, but we do seem to recall the flavours complimenting each other deliciously.

When the next course of rolled up smoked fish arrived, it became apparent that we’d unintentionally paid our deposit for a five-course taster menu, but our lovely waiter very kindly allowed us poor students to degrade to the cheaper three-course option whilst keeping the omega-3 rich plateful in front of us. The smoked salmon plus another white fish made us feel very healthy, as did the dessert of vegan chocolate mousse with wafers. After both spending the last year in France, we’re not sure how much we like our desserts to make us feel healthy, but we ate them all anyway.

It must here be said that at £38 for three small courses, you’re definitely paying for the experience, not the food. But in our opinions, the experience was definitely worth it.

Wasn’t everyone perving on each other?

Not in the slightest. When we were first welcomed into the bar area by the bouncer, it was completely surreal to see people sitting with their backs to us at the bar fully naked, and others wandering round or engrossed in conversation with their boobs out. We both went bright red. At first, we may have stolen a couple of glances around us (it’s not often that you’re given the chance to observe London’s twenty- and thirty-somethings in their natural habitats, after all. This was a chance to answer our major questions, such as, how do other women shape their bushes? Are our boobs really that small? How confident are the city’s men in their man parts?).

However, we quickly realised that looking was not the done thing. Apart from one mildly creepy and fully dressed bar tender (who we later found out had only been hired as a replacement for the night, so had clearly not gotten over the novelty) who repeatedly asked to nibble Jess’ nipple piercing, everyone acted as if streaking in a restaurant is completely normal.

How do they keep the seats clean?

Everyone must sit on their robes at all times.

What was the best part? 

Making friends with the waiters. Being offered a free drink or two. Getting invited to a sex party in Balham (lol jk, we said no).

Would you do it again? 

The experience of a naked restaurant is once in a lifetime and perhaps it should stay that way, lest it should lose its novelty. We must, however, admit that there is something really rather liberating about being nude in a public space, where everyone else around you is in the same vulnerable position. So, whilst we’re not saving for an annual membership just yet, there have been some serious discussions about hosting a naked dinner party in our student house next year…

(Bet you’re praying for an invite.)