|Staff members of Hobbit House in Ermita, Manila pose for a photo. Photo from the Hobbit House website
MANILA, Philippines – A restaurant in Ermita, Manila has been named the weirdest in the world for its dwarf waiters and cooks, which coincide with its “Lord of the Rings” theme.
Hobbit House, which also has a branch in Boracay, topped the list of the “world’s weirdest themed restaurants” compiled by CNNGo, the travel news website of the Cable News Network.
The restaurant-bar was opened by former Peace Corps volunteer and college professor Jim Turner in Mabini Street in 1973, and was moved to M. H. del Pilar street in 2007.
“Diners of a sensitive bent might balk at the political correctness of it all, but the waiters are of an indisputably sunny disposition,” writer Duncan Forgan said in the CNNGo article. “Turner’s masterful brainwave has had global implications with a similar restaurant – Dwarves of the East (without the Middle Earth overtones) having opened in Cairo, Egypt.”
Hobbit House’s candlelit interiors include paintings of scenes from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
The place is also known for staging performances by local folk, rock, blues, jazz and reggae artists, such as Freddie Aguilar, Blue Rats and Marc Velasco.
Food served here, however, is not as unique. Hobbit House’s specialties include the usual Filipino beef steak, English sausages with mashed potatoes, and tomato and garlic pasta.
Before CNNGo, Hobbit House has been recognized by iExplore.com and Lonely Planet for having the “smallest waiters in the world.”
Other restaurants included in CNNGo’s list of the world’s weirdest-themed restaurants are Heart Attack Grill in the United States, which serves heart attack-inducing items, and Eternity, a coffin restaurant in Ukraine.
Below is the full list:
1. Hobbit House in Manila, Philippines
2. Pyongyang in Laos, Cambodia, Nepal and United Arab Emirates
3. Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
4. NG Meat Bar in Tel Aviv, Israel
5. Eternity in Truskavets, Ukraine
6. Modern Toilet in Taipei, Taiwan
7. Fortezza Medicea Jail Restaurant in Pisa, Italy
8. Guolizhuang in Beijing, China
9. Ninja in New York, United States