A restaurant where topless men serve a traditional Chinese hotpot meal has become the subject of a lively online debate in China.
The Layan restaurant in the ancient city of Xi’an in Shaanxi has hired a number of muscly male models to serve food and show off their tuned torsos in nothing but an apron from the belt up.
These scantily clad bodybuilders are, apparently, especially popular with some female guests, who have been taking selfies with them during meals and even inviting them over to share a hotpot, a kind of communal food like fondue where one pot is shared by several people.
A glance at social media and newspapers in China shows that not everyone is a fan, however. In a survey by the Shanghai newspaper Xinwen Chenbao, slightly more than half of around 2,850 respondents found the restaurant offensive.
The rest were divided into those who found it “novel” and “acceptable” or who simply didn’t care.
On social media, some pointed out that female models have long been advertising products like cars. Others remarked that it’s not considered offensive when lingerie brands advertise with scantily clad models.
“If men are allowed to look at women, why are women not allowed to look at men in return?” one user asked. As long as no erotic services were offered and no laws were violated, it was not improper, he said.
Restaurant owner Ma Yu says it’s just about having a good time. “I hope to bring visual enjoyment and a pleasant experience to all customers, ” he told the South China Morning Post.
“They are handsome looking guys and their customer service is also very good, ” said one female visitor who told the newspaper she liked being able to take photos and videos with them.
“They are all generous, warm and co-operative, so I am very satisfied.” – dpa