From The Sunday Times March 16, 2008 China's penis restaurant There are several varieties of steamed, roasted and boiled penis at Beijings quirkiest diner Im visiting the Guo-li-zhuang restaurant, a specialist penis and testicle emporium that caters mainly to wealthy businessmen and Communist party officials (who, truth be told, are often one and the same). It offers every conceivable John Thomas you could ever want, which probably isnt 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 - were making a current-affairs programme for the BBC - but Ill 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 yaks knob. Its about 45cm long, but thin, so thin. Its been boiled gently and - I cant believe Im 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 didnt think groins could experience nausea.) I cant 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 doesnt know what to say. Hes just happy to have a good job, really. His friends dont take the mickey, his parents are proud of him and he does what hes 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 its been poached in. We are given three sauces to dip it into - lemon and soy, chilli and soy, and a sesame-seed paste. Its good, and the penile nature of the meat lends an undeniable frisson of excitement to the meal. I tell the boss that its the first time Ive had penis in my mouth, but I like it and Im going to do more of it. Well, someone had to say it. She seems pleased, and pours me some deer-penis juice, which Im delighted to say is the vilest concoction Ive ever had the privilege to imbibe. Its 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 - shes going to have a busy night. We try goats penis, chicken feet, bulls penis tip (thatll keep you up all night too, the boss warns), terrapin leg and all manner of radishes. Im offered dogs penis (The only one with a bone in it, and served with a glacé 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 bulls perineum a delicate piece of flesh, the size of a chicken oyster, which has been poached, then slow-fried. Its sweet and crispy, with a deep taste of soy and honey. Yan Yan, my guide, isnt too keen on penis, but shes 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 dont they serve any female genitalia? The boss bursts into giggly, embarrassed laughter. Thats a crazy idea - why would anyone want to do that? Well, because its protein and you Chinese are renowned for eating everything. Dont be insane, she says. Then she remembers that shes heard of a dish of donkey vulva, but shes not sure where. She thinks its a disgusting idea. Extracted from In the Danger Zone by Stefan Gates (BBC Books £15.99).