iPad 2 used as plates in Apple-themed restaurant

A new restaurant in London serves food on iPad 2 tablets instead of plates. The Apple-themed eatery boasts Californian cuisine served on tablet dishes in an all-white environment.

Tableau is a new restaurant in London's swanky Soho that's taking finger food to the next level by using the iPad 2 instead of plates.

After chowing down at the all-white restaurant, which also has an all-black room, we can vouch for the fact that it's mind-blowing to see an iPad 2 surrounded by crisp white napkins and silver cutlery.

App-etising

The culinary adventure is iPad-obsessed from the start, when you peruse the Tableau menu app on the iPad 2. Each dish includes a full-screen photo that shows exactly how the food will appear when it's served on the tablet.

We found it easy to send our order to the kitchen with a few taps. We ordered a saucy selection of the eatery's California-themed food, inspired by the iPad 2's birthplace in Cupertino. We chose the Terminator Tortellini, a tribute to Governor Schwarzenegger, and the Hollywood Sign Steak, which is cut into all nine letters of the iconic billboard.

While we watched a live stream of the chefs at work on our iPod touch side plates, our iPad 2 made the trip to the kitchen to get loaded up with tasty treats.

It was deeply moving to see a delicious steak served on a stunning slice of tablet technology. Info about calories and nutrients was displayed around our pasta, and it even warned us to beware of our piping-hot food.

iMpracticalities

There are downsides to iPad 2-based dishes, however. The device doesn't have a rim, which means it doesn't do a good job of holding sauces and other runny items. According to other diners, the all-day breakfast was "a nightmare" due to the fried egg and beans running rampant over the table.

Also, the iPad 2 is sensitive to liquids, forks, knives and other implements, despite a protective coating of silicone to avoid scratching the tablet's glass screen. One of our tablet plates stopped working halfway through the meal, and restaurant staff told us that they throw "at least two or three" iPad 2s in the bin every day.

Finally, we weren't able to enjoy the roaming GarageBand musicians or nightly Words with Friends tournament, because having food on the iPad 2 makes it almost impossible to play with. In fact, we were up to our elbows in food grease by the end of the night, and the free wet wipes don't help pay a dry-cleaning bill.

Because of that, we think Tableau will go out of business faster than last year's short-lived member's-only hotspot, Miaou, which provided kittens instead of loo roll. The iPad 2 is a fun gadget, but it makes a rubbish plate. Plus, chucking out five iPad 2s every day obviously isn't cheap -- our bill broke the bank at £654, not including wine.

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