The Lockup is ringing in the holidays with a very special skull-themed hotpot!

Prison Restaurant: The Lockup was a chain of theme restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya that arrests it customers and throws them in a spooky prison cell full of test tube shots and killer clowns with baseball bats.

However, like many eateries this year, they’ve had a hard time and had to shut down all but their location in Tokyo’s Kabukicho, which reopened on 1 July. Since then they’ve been working hard at giving diners a hard time, and have also concocted some special new dishes for the winter season.

First up is the Striking Hotpot (Haenabe), named because it has a big skull floating in the middle which is actually made with a soy milk soup that gradually melts into the broth.

The creamy broth complements the heaps of pork and Chinese cabbage inside as well as other seasonal vegetables and mushrooms. Normally hotpots are communally eaten, but for obvious COVID-related reasons, this has been adapted to a single serving for 1,280 yen ($12.30).

However, if meat is more your bag, the you may want to opt for the Witch Nabe (Majonabe) which has a devil’s hand made of chicken grasping at the rim and skewered with various weaponry. Inside are some pieces of bacon and other hearty vegetables.

This is also a single portion and sells for 980 yen ($9.42).

By now you’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s not very Christmassy,” to which The Lockup might reply, “How dare you talk back! You have been sentenced to eat a bucket of coal!”

On the bright side, this bucket of coal is actually fried chicken colored black, and it’s all-you-can-eat for 60 minutes for just 500 yen ($4.81). It also comes with red and green dipping sauces, because it’s easy to forget the holidays while in this place.

Really though, the beauty of The Lockup is that all diners are confined to their own cells, which is great for social distancing.

▼ Shackles have also been lengthened to the recommended six-feet

Each cell is regularly disinfected, orders are taken with a sterilized touchpad rather than verbally, and even the monsters are taking all the necessary precautions.

▼ That’s The Lockup promise!

So stop by and do some time here if the opportunity arises and enjoy some off-the-beaten-path holiday festivities. Their food is probably better than a real prison too, and in Japan that’s actually saying a lot.

Restaurant information
Prison Restaurant: The Lockup Tokyo / 監獄レストラン「ザ・ロックアップTOKYO」
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-16-3 Shinjuku Square Bldg. 7F
東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-16-3 新宿スクエアビル7F
Open: 5p.m. – 10p.m. (Weekdays), Noon – 10p.m. (Weekends & Holidays)

Source, images: PR Times