Manly Meals


I am known to my near and dear for being willing to eat just about anything. Culturally sensitive with a wide range of interests, I have sampled exotic dishes in many locales without batting an eye. Of course, there have been notable and somewhat legendary exceptions to that fact, but picky regarding food I have never been.

However, I recently heard of a specialty restraurant that I find so disturbing and amusing on so many levels that I fear “tucking in” to the special of the day would be quite out of the question. While it would no doubt be a hearty meal, I fear gobbling it would prick my conscience. Perhap it would prove a more pleasant mouthful for some of my readers.

The following is reposted from the Times of London.

China’s penis restaurant

There are several varieties of steamed, roasted and boiled penis at Beijing’s quirkiest diner

It offers every conceivable John Thomas you could ever want, which probably isn’t very many. Nonetheless, the menu is both extensive and impressive.

The place looks like a smart kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine) formal restaurant, complete with underfloor stream, separate secluded dining rooms and hushed, discreet staff. I have come determined to avoid euphemisms – we’re making a current-affairs programme for the BBC – but I’ll admit the temptation is strong.

I ask a chef to show us the preparation of a penis first, so that I can get a feel for the process. He enters holding aloft an eye-wateringly large yak’s knob. It’s about 45cm long, but thin, so thin. It’s been boiled gently and – I can’t believe I’m writing this – peeled, except for a hunk of foreskin still clinging on to the end. He cuts the thing in half lengthways with a pair of scissors.

As he chops through the very tip of this impressive member, I feel an undeniable empathy twitch in my own penis and a bizarre feeling of nausea in my groin. (I didn’t think groins could experience nausea.) I can’t help yelping in sympathy. He then uses a knife to make hundreds of little snips along the side of the penis and chops the strips into 5cm pieces. When these are dropped into boiling stock, they curl up into little flower shapes that are so incongruous, I can barely believe my eyes.

I ask the chef if he thinks it strange to deal exclusively in genitalia, but he shrugs and doesn’t know what to say. He’s just happy to have a good job, really. His friends don’t take the mickey, his parents are proud of him and he does what he’s told. Okay.

Less taciturn is the female manager of the place, who says that Chinese history is one of famine, poverty, drought and disaster, which is why the Chinese have become used to eating every part of the animal – they have to extract every edible morsel from the food they have. I ask if this is good communist food, and she proudly says that most of her customers are male Communist party members. Their meal costs an average of two months’ wages for a dumpling-factory worker, and I ask how a conscientious Communist can be seen here (paying up to £250 for the rarer penises) when the average peasant is on the poverty line. She holds her hands up in the air and tells me that they come for the virility benefits genital-eating offers. Apparently, you can go for hours after eating a good portion of penis.

We try the water-buffalo penis first, in thin shavings. It started long and thin, but someone has shredded this noble old chap on a mandolin. It has the texture of squid and tastes of the mild chilli stock it’s been poached in.

We are given three sauces to dip it into – lemon and soy, chilli and soy, and a sesame-seed paste. It’s good, and the penile nature of the meat lends an undeniable frisson of excitement to the meal. I tell the boss that “it’s the first time I’ve had penis in my mouth, but I like it and I’m going to do more of it”. Well, someone had to say it.

She seems pleased, and pours me some deer-penis juice, which I’m delighted to say is the vilest concoction I’ve ever had the privilege to imbibe. It’s as sour as a smacked lemon and as bitter as neat quinine. My face freezes in an agonising spasm, and Lord knows how I manage to keep from throwing up. Mr Hoo, the driver, asks if I want any more, and when I shake my spasming head, he grins and downs it in one. I pity Mrs Hoo – she’s going to have a busy night.

We try goat’s penis, chicken feet, bull’s penis tip (that’ll keep you up all night too, the boss warns), terrapin leg and all manner of radishes. I’m offered dog’s penis (“The only one with a bone in it”, and served with a glace cherry placed pointlessly on the tip), but decline. All the knobs have intriguing, delicate and bizarre textures, although the flavour is mainly of pork braised in hot stock. My favourite dish of all is undoubtedly bull’s perineum – a delicate piece of flesh, the size of a chicken oyster, which has been poached, then slow-fried.

It’s sweet and crispy, with a deep taste of soy and honey.

Yan Yan, my guide, isn’t too keen on penis, but she’s adventurous in the face of adversity, and tries most things with a curled lip. Just before we go, I ask why the girls get off lightly. Why don’t they serve any female genitalia?

The boss bursts into giggly, embarrassed laughter. “That’s a crazy idea – why would anyone want to do that?”

“Well, because it’s protein and you Chinese are renowned for eating everything.”

“Don’t be insane,” she says. Then she remembers that she’s heard of a dish of donkey vulva, but she’s not sure where. She thinks it’s a disgusting idea.



  1. *quickly put his surgical tools away and locks the cabinet*

  2. *firmly reminds herself not to read the Baron’s blog whilst feeling peckish, then wanders off to see if there’s any sausage in the house*

  3. 1) Even with my skills at wine pairings, I do not believe that I would EVER find the right wine for tenderloin of Bull Penis Tip (pun fully intended) or braised Water Buffalo Penis.

    2) I really only prefer the raw (and attached) penii of one particular species.

    and 3) As an old boyfriend of mine used to say, “‘Eat’ is only a figure of speech”

  4. Your Grace…

    In responce to your uncertainty as to wine, I have always found that a well chilled Blue Nun goes down well with Penis.


    Well, you ASKED….


  5. My Dear Lord BardHaven –

    Never let it be said that I would shirk my responsibilities as a scientist or an oenophile. I believe that I will be able to “secure” some grant funding from the Society for this very important research into this very real biological and culinary linkage.


    The things I do for science…..

  6. Does anyone have any Grey Poupon?


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