With Shecosysem right across the street, it is hard to miss this bold and unique store front. The Poop Café is making a splash in the area and this novel concept was well worth checking out.
We were welcomed by a black façade with a large window peeping into the bright red interior. All of this was complemented by quirky red writing and numerous poop illustrations to potentially put a casual passerby into stupor as to what this place is all about.
Upon entering, one can get overwhelmed by the poop-themed objects galore - illustrations, sculptures, and even a large puffy toy poop, mounted on a high chair. And that is just around the red-rounded bar for those interested to grab something to-go.
The actual café was up a steep, wooden flight of stairs up and out of sight. This created a bit of a hiccup in the general traffic flow. We watched two mothers struggle to get their strollers up the stairs – a better shot at accessible design would have been a good idea here. The stairs let us to a new environment, similarly finished with warm, light wood, and laminated floor. A darker, chocolate shade would have been ideal here. Another odd choice was the fake plants on the basic Ikea tables and occasional poinsettias. Perhaps, a leftover from Christmas decor?
The most memorable part of the restaurant interior was the toilet bowl seats, which did not open, and so we learned that sitting on the toilet lid is not that comfy, even when covered with an illustrated poop wrap. The second neat element in this space was the long chalk board with humorous illustrations: overused plunger talking to a toilet, poop on various objects, and disgusted bugs, all narrated with speech bubbles. This fun fixture kept us entertained as we picked what to order.
The service here was a bit light, and we found English not to be our waiter’s strongest side. We were on the border of Korea Town after all, so this was not totally unexpected. We noticed throughout, there were red plunger-like light pendants, further solidifying the mood.
As we looked at the menu with numerous photos, we realized that there is a reason why there was an exhaustion of poop-related decor prior to seating down. They were compensating for something indeed, as the most unique part of the orders was the dishes it was served in - coffee served in a poop cup or toilet one, or an ice-cream in a toilet bowl-like plate… Disappointing, we thought, there could be more done around the actual food items.
As for the branded paper cups for the rest of the items, they were definitely lacking creativity. We had their Hong Kong Style Egg Waffle, as well as a cup of coffee. Do not expect any wild flavours here, pretty ordinary ice-cream joint stuff. The ice-cream itself was nothing to rave about. It was presented with a plain white funnel – yet another opportunity missed.
As the washrooms were opening straight into the restaurant area, we had a suspicion of this aspect of design not being entirely up to the building code in an obvious unsanitary way: single door made a real toilet visible as we were finishing our ice-creams on the fake stalls. Part of the overall theme maybe?
We do realize that creating a poop restaurant is a slippery slope – beyond the obvious fun, one doesn’t want to imagine too much while eating chocolate ice-cream and waffles. At the same time, we would recommend more unique items to be considered here. How about showing some options to encourage bowel movement? Plus, let’s get some cheeky humour in the menu item names.
A great idea without thorough execution is not enough for a business to succeed. Experience should be created so that people want to repeat it – we think there is more that could be done for Poop Café to reinforce the concept.