Would you like puns with that?

PATRICK WITTON
Last updated 11:03 06/11/2012
phat phuc noodle bar
USE YOUR NOODLE: A sign advertising the Phat Phuc Noodle Bar.
pu pu hot pot
PUNS A-PLENTY: Pu Pu Hot Pot: The World's Best Restaurant Names, by Ben Busey.

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So, you want to open a restaurant? Can't be too hard. Cook food, maintain hygiene, be nice, take cash... and repeat. But how to entice people to your establishment and remember the experience so they might return and/or tell others?

If multi-platform marketing is beyond your budget, and word of mouth has yet to take effect, there's always your eatery's name. There are thousands of books out there guiding parents on how to name their progeny, but the restaurant-naming game is another science altogether.

In his book, Pu Pu Hot Pot, Ben Brusey says, with tongue placed in kebab-filled cheek, that creativity in a restaurant's name is far more important than that on its plates. ''For too long, restaurants have been judged on the quality of their food,'' he says. ''In some parts of the world, chefs have been known to waste literally hours of their lives carefully preparing and cooking stuff, only for other people to eat it and, later, part ways with it. This insanity must stop.''

Brusey's book, comprising substandard photographs and superfluous commentary, survives on the strength of one joke. But it is a joke that can be sustained for 200 pages, as it takes as many forms as there are places to eat. There are the good (Marquis de Salade in Budapest), the bad (the Jason Donervan cart selling kebabs to ''neighbours'' across Britain), the lost in translation (Little Drooling Bear Food in Shanghai) and the just plain wrong (Booty's House of Crabs in Ocean City, New Jersey).

Most entries are of the play-on-words variety, whether intentional (New Cod on the Block in Sheffield) or not so much (Phat Phuc Noodle Bar in London).

Restaurants serving Thai food also seem particularly pun-prone with three Sydney restaurants - Thai the Knot, N'Thai Sing and Thairanosaurus - all making the cut.

Despite Busey's claim, whether an eatery's name is memorable matters far less than the food on the plate. This is evinced by a Budapest business in Brusey's book that continues to trade: Fatal Restaurant.

More classic eateries from Pu Pu Hot Pot

Abrakebabra - Dublin, Ireland.

Amy's Winehouse - Sunderland, Britain.

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Bean Curd Person of High Skill - Huwei, Taiwan.

Coffee Annan - Trondheim, Norway.

Frying Nemo - Goole, Britain.

Korean Offhand Porridge Restaurant - Busan, South Korea.

Man Bites Dog - Austin, Texas.

Pita Pan - New York.

Sherrill's Eat here and Get Gas - Tipton, Indiana.

Stomach Clinic Bar & Restaurant - Nairobi, Kenya.

Syriandipity - Toronto, Canada.

The Fish Wants the Sauce to Eat - Taipei, Taiwan.

YacDonalds - Kagbeni, Nepal.

- Sydney Morning Herald

What memorable restaurant names have you come across in your travels?

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