The Bunyadi, London
The Bunyadi, London
One of the most hyped London restaurant openings this summer has been ‘the naked restaurant,’ The Bunyadi. Where guests eat naked and are served by topless waiters. One month into the pop up restaurant run we went in and caught them right at the end of their staff meal and spoke wth the head chef Jono.
THE INCEPTION OF NAKED DINING
Sebastian, the boss man, came up with this concept to break down the barriers between people and food. Obviously there is a physical aspect to that, thats created a lot of hype about this place, but more importantly for us its about naked food and deconstructing the menu. We serve a raw food menu, there’s both a meat and vegan option. I’m also very belly conscious so I have created a Kumbucha program as well.
The main dining room has a bamboo wall that snakes through it. It gives it a feeling of privacy but also making it feel like theres a communal aspect to it.
So far we’ve had really positive feedback, and as a pop up it’s really an experiment, it may be open for another month or two but we are looking to reopen in a more permeant space
Theres an absence of all technology, we ask you leave your phone, watches or anything else on you before you go into the dining room. You have no sense of time in there and after we have had people tell us they feel like they have been away for days or gone on holiday.
Staffing has been a real challenge as you can imagine. I answered an ad on facebook under London start up groups. I was hired and given the task of setting up the kitchen and finding the staff. It was tough at the start then a lot of the staff came to us after all the media attention saying they wanted to get involved. They are topless when they work and are essentially just clothed in fig leaves and maybe a loin cloth...
ASSUMPSIONS OF NAKED DINING
A lot of people assume its very sexualized but we have had very little of that. It’s a very laid back place and had a lot of naturalists and people wanting to experience something new. We have security on the door but haven’t had any issues or had to kick anyone out yet.
There is no nudity in the kitchen. When the heath inspector came in that was the first question they asked me. Sadly I’m not the naked chef.
The waiters are inside for 5 hrs without much of a break so we want to show some appreciation by feeding them well. We also don’t want to be training more staff this late in things so we want to keep them as happy as we can.
I usually do vegan staff meal as there are vegan staff members so it makes things easier to manage. I’m also limited by whats in the kitchen so it’s usually quite similar type food to whats being served to the customers. For me it’s actually a nice break from staff food at my previous place that was all fried things.
We usually have a briefing and general catch up over staff meal. If there are any changes or anything that needs to be discussed this happens then. It’s a nice way to start to the shift.
Find them here!