Blood, Screams, and Chuan'r at New Workers' Stadium Haunted Hospital Diner
Canyu is not the only place in the Tango basement plaza at Gongti to eat Chinese barbecue and down a few beers, but it sure as heck is the weirdest. Before even stepping foot in this haunted-hospital themed chuan'r diner (something we thought we'd never write), hungry customers are greeted by the dead eyes of a mannequin doctor, who as apparently just completed a particularly bloody surgery.
Canyu dubs?itself an?“experience” restaurant and lives up to the name with a strikingly immersive environment, albeit in a rather small space. Each of the?tables is bordered by a hospital bed divider and an IV pump stand where customers might hang their coats should they want to swap?them for blue and white hospital garb. Some waiters sport these jackets as well, while others wear white doctor’s coats. On the table, a medical kit box?contains chuan'r spices?and a “biohazard” razorblade disposal box for your used skewers.
The adjoining decor, meanwhile, replicates the New York City Subway – already one of the least sanitary settings for dinner we could have imagined – but this time populated by undead nuns and spiderwebs, and for some reason, a table of Jokers from throughout the ages sat just outside the train window playing cards. It’s not entirely clear what the subway has to do with a hospital, but it is well put together nonetheless. The inexplicably loud cross-genre playlist and flickering dimmed lights?complete the scene for a?true MTA experience.
Though impressive, the restaurant lacks the thrill of a haunted house, so for those looking for more than a night out taking scary selfies, there had better be something interesting on the menu. There are a few different directions you might take your demonic dinner at Canyu. Filling up on protein?with chuan'r and even a nice black pepper steak (RMB 128) is one option, and while they're?juicy, we're inclined to put more trust in the less eccentric, cheaper barbecue places?down the hallway. On the other hand, there are several other creepy dishes that you certainly won't find elsewhere, like the brain atop a skull (RMB 78), or the skeleton fingers wrapped in beef. Some other worthwhile tries include snails (yes, real snails, RMB 68) and the octopus tentacles (RMB 98).
The sole thematic drink is?vodka punch in an IV bag hung by the table and poured into glasses through the tube. Despite the unique presentation, the alcohol is barely perceptible, and the blandness does not match up to a glass of Kool-Aid. Not to worry, though, as there is beer as well.
In the end, however, it comes down to the experience, and the only real reason to visit this wacky place is to have a thoroughly weird dinner to celebrate society’s misplaced idolization of the Joker before wandering over to Heaven Supermarket for the real party. Other than that, we do reckon it will be packed on Halloween?– if it lives to see the day.
Canyu Haunted Hospital Restaurant
B1, 6 Workers' Stadium West Road, Tango Plaza, Chaoyang District
Images: Joey Knotts, Canyu Haunted Hospital