One of the first theme restaurants to open in Tokyo, Alcatraz ER is, as its name suggests, styled after a prison hospital. A prison hospital from hell, that is. The menu includes human intestines (OK, it’s an unfeasibly long sausage in a kidney dish), a penis on a bed of lettuce (another sausage, suggestively carved) and various impossibly spicy delectables. One thing to keep in mind -- you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the wicked nurses, who have a habit of pulling down unruly customers’ trousers to administer an injection from a gigantic syringe. You have been warned.
In life there are some things you can prepare for. This wasn’t one of them. The lights went out and a piercing siren went off. Torches came from along the corridors and then a scream running towards us. It was a man in a clown mask, dressed in a boiler suit wielding a plastic axe. He hit my leg several times with it and ran off. I was screaming madly at this point assuming there would have been a no touching policy in this place but … no. I thought it was all over but my God I was wrong.
Alcatraz, the crazy old uncle of Japanese theme restaurants, kickstarted the trend about a decade ago by capitalising on everyone's love of hospital food. The setting is a "medical prison". You are the patient. The waitresses are dressed as the type of nurses that exist only in Benny Hill re-runs. They handcuff you, pretend to inject a giant needle into your rear, and then lock you in a cell. There, you can order such dishes as Dead Chicken (in which two chicken feet are clasped together in peaceful repose), Penis Sausage (in which a sausage is carved to resemble a severed penis) and Intestine (another sausage, and sort of odd considering that you can order actual intestine in any of Tokyo's zillion yakitori restaurants).