NONTHABURI, Thailand (AP) – A flood-stricken riverbank restaurant in Thailand has become an unlikely place to eat after fun-loving foodies began flocking to its soaked terrace. water to eat in the middle of the tide.
Now instead of empty chairs and empty tables, the Chaopraya Antique Café is as crowded as ever, offering an experience the astute owner calls “hot pot surfing.”
If you like food washed down with plenty of water, this is the place for you.
Shortly after the water reaches the parapet, the first diners arrive. Before long, the terrace is packed with laid-back patrons snuggling happily as if dining in a deluge was the norm.
Waiters, some dressed in rubber boots, cautiously walk through the whirlpool that quickly rises to more than 50 centimeters (20 inches).
The restaurant, in Nonthaburi, near Bangkok, opened in February in a riverside location that perfectly complements its ancient architecture and decor.
But a recent severe tropical storm and heavy monsoon rains combined to raise the river’s water level. Add in the tides and the result has been a daily flood.
In the immediate aftermath of a month-long coronavirus shutdown, it could have spelled disaster. Instead, driven by advertising in the Thai media, it is now so popular that customers need to make reservations.
“This is a great environment. During this flood crisis, this has become the restaurant’s main attraction. So I wanted to challenge myself and try this new experience, ”said Siripoj Wai-inta, 24, as he chewed his food with the water running up his shins.
The owner has called the experience “hot surfing”. When a passenger ship passes by, find out why. The fast-paced fight to avoid a dip in the wave is the moment everyone looks forward to, and with one happening every 15 minutes, no one leaves home disappointed.
It is the first gastronomic adventure of the television presenter Titiporn Jutimanon. He says he was worried about what would happen when the floods hit.
“It turns out that customers have a great reaction. They’re happy. We can see the atmosphere of the clients enjoying the experience of eating in the water. So a crisis has turned into an opportunity. He encourages us to keep the restaurant open and to keep the customers happy. “
Best of all, he says, it means you can keep your staff happy by keeping them employed. So even in the midst of tough economic times, the only thing that needs a rescue is the restaurant itself.