At Le Dictateur, a dictator-themed restaurant in an upscale suburb of Tunis, Tunisia, cartoonish portraits of former oppressive world leaders adorn the walls, alongside current political figures like Vladimir Putin and, curiously, First Lady Melania Trump. Dishes called “anarchy,” “fascism,” and “grilled freedom” are all on the menu.
Owner Seif Ben Hammouda chose the restaurant’s theme to acknowledge Tunisia’s newfound freedom of expression, Malaysian site Star2 reports. According to Le Dictateur’s owner, before the country’s 2011 revolution and the subsequent fall of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the subject of dictatorship was completely taboo.
Six years later, it’s still shocking to some. When Le Dictateur opened last March with a sign featuring an illustration of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un in a Hitler mustache, Tunisian authorities weren’t exactly pleased. A government official asked Ben Hammouda to change the restaurant’s name and logo. He compromised, keeping the name and removing the mustache.
Months later, Ben Hammouda says Le Dictateur’s cheeky theme attracts customers in a way that food alone would not. “We had to make ourselves known, to come up with a name and concept that attracted attention because good cuisine alone is often not enough,” he told Star2. And he thanks the Tunisian authorities for the particular attention that they’ve shown his restaurant.