When I was in Bangkok recently I did not hear about the place that serves chickens by catapaulting it through the air where it is then caught by unicycling waiters.
Alsa, I heard about it after I returned home.
Who has information on this place. I hope to return to Thailand early next year and this will be a definate addition to my itinerary.
I may even apply for a job…
All you ‘need’ to know:
[I]…But the champion of style over substance has to be the Flying Chicken Restaurant on Bang-Na Trad, just south of the intersection of Sukhumvit road. A roomy outdoor cafe, the Flying Chicken features a wide, open seating pavilion, and like many cafe/restaurants of its kind, features a stage where young women in garishly colorful evening gowns take turn singing Thai love songs to the accompaniment of a synthesizer “band.”
But the real attraction, the one which distinguishes this roadside al-fresco bistro from other like it, the one which puts it on the tourist map, is exactly what the name suggests: They fling chickens, high up in the air, while they’re still on fire. To this end they have even developed their own spring-powered catapult, which has a metal dish on top where they place the fully-cooked whole chicken, just before dousing it in brandy and setting it alight.
But the best part, or rather the most improbable part of the spectacle is who catches it. Waiters here all ride unicycles–yes, you read that right–and so poised are still balanced enough to catch an airborne chicken on a plate, while it is on fire. Quite impressive. These chickens are then brought to your table, where the brandy quickly burns itself out, and a small flag id inserted into the upright bird. It’s a bizarre sight, to watch your food being set ablaze, set in flight, and then impaled onto a spit for your consumption. It’s almost as if the chicken has committed some heinous crime for which mere execution is insufficient punishment; the offender must be burned, tossed, and then displayed upright, still smoldering, as a warning to others. The flag just adds an air of officiousness to the proceedings.
It’s probably no surprise that the chicken doesn’t taste very good. After all, the chickens which are dropped (and there are surprisingly few) are whisked away to he kitchen, where they may or may not be recycled. The chickens are also not cooked to order and taste dry, as of they have been sitting under heat lamps too long. But really no one comes here for the food–in fact one would have to be quite foolish to walk into any restaurant called the Flying Chicken and expect anything less than a complete negligence of cuisine in favor of entertainment. It’s worth trying out just once, if only to tell the story about a strange place that did such a thing. And in a world of increasingly bland food and increasingly bland food-related entertainment, the Flying Chicken certainly deserves points for originality. Plus it’s much cheaper than any hotel yacht. Bring your camera. [/I]
That’s amazing…it’s a shame you missed it. Will you be doing the same work there early next year?
They had that restuarant on Ripley’s believe it or not.
That description, although detailed, does not do it justice.
I’d definitely want to go there with my uni and idle while eating the chicken
i was also in thailand last year but we didnt stay in bangkok but there was small article in ‘sawasdee’ magazine about it (thai air’s in flight magazine).
im going again (for something like the 7th time!!!) in 10 days, and we will be staying in bangkok, so hopefully ill get the chance to go have a look. i still have the magazine lying aorund somewhere…
I know where i am going for my 21nd birthday dinner!
“Ah, I see you ride own unicycle”
“Yes I certainly do”
“May I ride?”
“Get on, ride own unicyle?” “Yes for sure”
“Now open mouth, catch own chicken.”
i believe that would not be very good table
manners on my behalf, my mother would be rather upset.
and as for actually catching it, the chickens
are apparently flaming as they come soaring
through the air so i think that if i can maybe
work up a blow just before it reaches my mouth
i should successfully be able to extinguish the
flames, yet fitting it in my mouth is another matter entirely.
I’ve many friends who’ve vacationed in Thailand. From their descriptions it sounds like a wonderful country. Yet none has ever mentioned the Flying Chicken. I’d love to go there someday (wife and I take a trip abroad every year, this year it’s Italy) and I’ll be sure not to miss the spectacle of flying chickens caught by unicyclists.
We usually travel quite light. Everything we need in a backpack so that we came move about quickly and easily. This kind of precludes bringing a unicycle. I always wish I had one though. Maybe one of the waiters would let me borrow or rent their uni when their not working?
my dad threw a chicken at me once! but i didn’t catch it
Would you believe that I can’t find pictures or video of this online? The internet has failed me…