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Floating Chinese – Sea Palace Restaurant

a large clock tower towering over the city of london


This floating Chinese restaurant in Amsterdam opened its doors in 1984. It is a copy of the Chinese floating restaurant in Hong Kong. When the restaurant in Hong Kong opened, 750 guests were invited as a publicity stunt to demonstrate it’s impressive capacity. So when the restaurant opened in Amsterdam, they also invited 750 guests. But…. the boat started to sink. Why? In Hong Kong, the restaurant floats on salt water. But in Amsterdam, the restaurant floats on fresh water. The buoyancy of salt water is greater than that of fresh water. Moreover, the slender Asian is on average lighter than the sturdy and tall Dutchman. 

They asked 150 guests to leave the boat. These 150 guests stood on the quay, disappointed. After all, they had counted on a meal. But the chefs in the restaurant also had a problem. They had counted on more guests than were eventually seated in the restaurant. That resulted in a considerable surplus.

There was one brilliant Chinese who came up with a brilliant idea. He said: “Why don’t we put 150 meals in a tray and give it to the guests on the quay to take home. Then they can still enjoy our Chinese food at home! And so it happened. It was a resounding success.

And so the Chinese takeaway was born!

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