Chow time! Everyone line up by the cell doors. If you do not eat all of your food, you will not receive anything at the next meal. What’s that prisoner #27659? You have a problem with your hash and rice? Don’t make me get the warden. And don’t any of you think about skipping out on the check, otherwise you’ll end up at a restaurant-themed prison. We hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to Prison Theme Kebab Bar.
Welcome to the most popular new restaurant in the entirety of Jilin City, China. The metropolis is no slouch for restaurants either, boasting a population of over 4 million residents and a number of eateries that attract the annual tourists flocking to see the city’s famed rime ice. The owner of Prison Theme Kebab Bar set out to create a restaurant that not only fed hungry customers, but provided a life lesson. However, I doubt that paying to eat meager amounts of food provides enough of a moral lesson to make people stay on the straight and narrow, although one never knows.
Everything about the restaurant is prison-themed. You are escorted to your cell by a server dressed as a prison guard who then locks you into an area the size of a booth. You get to wear the clothes you showed up in, but otherwise, the restaurant tries to strip you of your individuality. Each table is numbered, which is how all prisoners are addressed at all times. Once your food is ready, the guard arrives and bangs on the bars of your cell while screaming your number, only then slipping the meal through a window in the gate. All meals are served in simple silver bowls.
The menu at Prison Theme Kebab Bar focuses on meat skewers, while also serving traditional Chinese cuisine, including cold meats and noodles. However, if you really want to get the authentic prison experience, and honestly, why would you be there if that’s not what you were after, there is a special prison menu. For less than $2 you can receive coarse, rustic bread and plain noodles. The guard will spit in your food for free, just in case you want to up the reality of the experience.
So far reviews on the website Dianping have been average, but that hasn’t stopped people from waiting in a long line to experience the restaurant. Prison Theme Kebab Bar has been open for three months already, but the average wait time for dinner is still nearly an hour. Who could have guessed it would be so hard to get locked up in a Chinese prison?