Dans le Noir? is the only place where you can literally dine in the dark. Yes, you read it correct. Needless to say, not an option for a first date!
By: Karishma Parkash
Posted on: September 10, 2011
Dans Le Noir? is the only place where you can literally dine in the dark. Yes, you read it correct. Needless to say, not an option for a first date!
‘Wow that looks so appetising. What is it?’ or ‘What is that dish she is having? I’ll have it too’ are statements that you will not hear at this quaint, but interesting restaurant, simply because you cannot see what you are eating. Besides this, you will hear every other string of conversation you can possibly imagine. If you think that you and your friend can give each other the ‘look’ and enjoy your night out, don’t count on it, because this is a place where you face your worse fear - the dark. Suppressing your most dominant sense, watch how your other senses take over control, however chaotically. What’s more interesting is how dependant one gets on their blind guides and how you actually start enjoying the experience once the initial panic and fear settles in.
Dans Le Noir?, which literally means ‘in the dark’, is present in three cities - Barcelona, London and Paris - and is a concept which the experimental would not want to miss.
Take a seat
Ensure that you arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your reservation so that you can safely put away your valuables in a locker (nothing is allowed to be taken inside so as to avoid any form of light or tripping over articles in the dark), be briefed about the concept and introduced to your waiter. If you are a vegetarian, inform them at the time of reservation, so that you are not served meat by mistake! Take in a deep breath as you place your hand on your friend’s shoulder who will further place their hand on your waiters shoulder as he/she expertly manoeuvres you into a pitch dark room and seats you effortlessly. Give yourself a few seconds as your eyes adjust to the darkness and your hands automatically start exploring your surroundings. Minus the fact that you cannot see what you are eating, where you are sitting or who you are next to, Dans Le Noir? is a restaurant in its fullest sense with complete cutlery, furniture and a set course meal.
The restaurant follows the concept of a ‘surprise’ menu, literally, so you do not know what you were served till your entire experience is complete. Have fun as you try to figure out what you have been served to quench your thirst or satiate your appetite. After you are done battling with the cutlery, exercise your fingers and start your journey by feeling, smelling and tasting your food. Don’t be upset or dismayed if you have to spend some time locating the food on your plate. Concentrate on actually putting it in your mouth!
Putting the experience aside, the food is average, and does not tickle the taste buds, but the experience pretty much fills your stomach. Maybe it is just because the sense of taste is trying to make up for the lack of vision, but the flavours may throw you slightly off balance – that’s normal.
The restaurant seems extremely loud with an excited buzz and incessant chatter coming from other tables. More than the darkness, it is the noise that will start to get to you once you are comfortably settled in with the help of the flawless waiters. A few ‘ssh’ and ‘quiet’ can be heard from the waiters who are trying to maintain silence so that they can coordinate with the kitchen via their electronic ear pieces, but the noise gradually picks up in a matter of seconds again. Need some help from your waiter? Simply yell out your server’s name and he/she magically appears by your side ready to comfort you or simply feed you! Finish your meal and welcome back the light in your life as your waiter leads you back to the initial seating area. An excited discussion as to what you actually ate vis-a-vis what you thought you ate takes up a good half an hour, so keep all your assumptions till the end.
Finally, write your waiter a quick note which will be read out to them. It feels good! Collect your valuables and step out into the world, observing it in a new light, literally. Being stripped of your comfortable vision, ensure that you go with someone that you are at ease with. Still trying to envision the layout and interiors of the restaurant? So are we. Ready to Dans Le Noir?