Not many restaurants force you to clear your throat and loudly say "Pussy" to place your order, and not many restaurants have you dining in cramped prison cells. Then again, not many restaurants are like Alcatraz ER.
Thanks to a viral video, the restaurant has become known to travellers, foodies and lovers of all things eccentric across the globe - and, being someone who I'd like to think fits into all three of those categories, it was a place I was absolutely not going to miss.
Even the detail in the waiting area was up to par - once we tracked down the restaurant in the second story of a Shibuya building, warning signs flashed and the graffiti across the dilapidated concrete walls was telling. Alcatraz ER is a themed restaurant like so many in Japan, but it's eerie commitment to it's unique concept - a medical prison, or mental asylum - is what made it unforgettable.
The wait was thankfully short, and our charismatic host led us through the restaurant, greeting us with the characteristic Japanese welcome ("Irashaimase!") before gesturing towards tiny cramped staircases that led to our cell. We sat on the floor cross-legged behind metal bars, and our metal table clanged as we worked out how exactly to arrange our limbs without knocking ourselves out against the low-hanging industrial lights. To order, there was a metal pole chained to the bars - and like the prisoners we now were, we had to use it to bang against the bars to get a waiters' attention. The menu? Something else entirely.
Fried rice boobs, beef pussy, you name it. The drinks were the real appeal though - their signature cocktails with dildo stirrers and IV blood bags were standout favourites, but my used-condom cocktail won out - the presentation and the way it was made in front of us complete with "semen" dripping out of the condom (hmm) was mind-blowingly unlike anything I could have expected.
Then came the crowning jewel - dessert.
How could I not have ordered this exquisite delicacy? As soon as I set eyes on it months ago, eyes glued to my laptop screen, I knew I had to have it.
If you've got the guts to go and experience Alcatraz ER, make sure it's something you don't miss.