Imagine eating in total darkness, with not even a hint of light to guide you. As the door to darkness open, you will be ushered in by the gentle and polite waiting staff. Do not be alarmed when they say to you “Please put your hands on my shoulder and follow my instructions as we walk in”. This is only a normal procedure as the waiting staffs who will be serving you for the entire duration of your experience are all visually impaired.
We being the advocates of experiences, were absolutely thrilled when this experience finally hits home. Dining in the dark has become an instant hit the minute it was being introduced in the US. Though a lot of people in Malaysia are still not aware of this experience, we believe it will be very soon!
While waiting for our experience to commence, we were served a welcome drink and a little game to whet our appetite.
We were given a box of rice and then were told to blindfold ourselves and search for 4 paper clips in the box of rice. Who would have thought looking for paper clips without eye sight could proved to be quite a challenge?
I completed my given task in under 5 minutes, so I’m quite pleased. Once we are done with that, we were told to keep all our belongings in an assigned locker. Ladies, if you are using a Birkin or Kelly may I suggest you to use something smaller the night of your experience so that your bag can be squeeze into the locker (without much heartache) as you will not be allowed to bring in your bags or handphones in the dining space.
So obediently, I took out both my mobile phones ( darn! there goes my social life!) and lock it in. In a split second, the door in front of me lit up and our usherette uttered a brief “Enjoy the experience”
As the door open, out popped a friendly looking chap, clad in black. He introduced himself and politely asked if we were ready to go in. I, was as nervous as a kid on their first visit to the dentist! The door closed behind me as we were guided into the darkness. Do not expect even the slightest hint of light. (well, my watch kinda glow in the dark, so that was assuring – but I was told later on to remove it as it would hinder the experience).I couldn’t remove it as I have no bags or pocket with me, so I just kinda turn it around so the glowing lights would not be evident in the dark.
I safely made it to my seat. Our waiter was absolutely pleasant. He made a quick introduction of himself, and the menu that we will be feasting on. He came back and asked if we would like to pour our own water. Sure, why not? I slowly reached out for the glass on the table, and poured the water from the bottle slowly, putting my finger in the cup so I know when to stop pouring.
Once everyone is settled down, we were quickly informed that soup will be served to kick start the experience!
Two types of soups were served ; hot & cold
- Cold Soup: Watermelon Gazpacho flavoured with pineapple and tomato
- Hot Soup : Green of lettuce soup with dash of nutmeg
I quite fancy the cold soup – refreshing and lightl. As for the hot soup, I thought it was a bit too diluted.
Entree was quickly served. A quick introduction of the dishes was presented by our waiting staff. My two other dIning companion could not stop giggling and talked so loud that I actually find it annoying. Maybe my hearing senses heighten since I was not able to use my eye sight in the darkness – so everything seems incredibly loud to me. Whilst everyone around me was busy talking, I could distinctively hear the chatter and whispering of those nearby as well as the clinking sound of utensils on the plates.
I decided to eat with my fingers, since I was told that it will make the whole experience better, as you can feel the texture of your food. I did and indeed it was. It was quite liberating since you really don’t have any idea of what is being served until you dip your fingers into the dishes and put them into your mouth. Of course, everyone was busy discussing what the dish was and whether it was a yay or nay. I actually spoke less in this dining experience, and begin to truly enjoy the moments in darkness and every scoop of food I devour.
Entree was made up of 4 different small bites.
- Grilled eggplant topped with spring onion in chinese vinegar, garlic and red chilli dressing
- Devilled eggs with tobiko
- Poached mussels (though I strongly believed it was cockles!), pomelo & carrot salad in thai style sauce perfumed with coriander, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves
- Espuma of smoked tomato mousse infused with basil on mashed avocado
I took about 15 minutes to savour the food, pairing it slowly with a glass of cabernet sauvignon. Simply delightful!
The waiter seems to know when we are done with our food as he quickly made his presence known by asking if we are done with our entree and ready to move on to the next course. Main course was quickly served. I was really impressed by how professional they were. Though visually impaired, they were able to place each course in front of us without making the slightest hint of noise. They didn’t even knock on our chair, tables or accidentally moved our utensils. Made me wonder, how come then in a normal restaurant served by perfectly adequate people, they can accidentally knock you on your table, chairs and even sometimes spill your food when serving? Are we less inclined to put into full good use of our “vision” despite being totally adequate?
For mains, we were served:
- Deep fried John Dory fillet with curry sauce topped with fried curry leaves and tomatoes
- Five spice duck breast with braised white radish in rosemary cranberry jus
- Macaroni with seafood Bolognese in bisque cream
My favourite has to be the deep fried dory fillet followed by the duck breast. I was on a low carb diet, so I nibbled at the macaroni.
To end the night, dessert were whipped out quickly.
For dessert, we had :
- Lemongrass & lime sorbet with kaffir lime leaves
- French vanilla bavarian cream
- Deconstructed apple crumble
- Apricot & pistachio rice pudding
- Mixed berries jelly flavoured with mint
What a satisfying meal ! We completed our dining experience in under 2 hours, and when I saw the first hint of light after being in darkness, I was ever so grateful for everything I have in life. It made me wonder how often we human beings lament about our life and are seldom thankful for what we have been bestowed. The experience has been such an amazing one for me and I was glad this dining experience is now available in KL.
Menu changes every month, so you won’t be dining on the same menu as what I had – so there is definitely no spoiler in terms of the dishes that you will be indulging on!
Go ahead, give this experience a try and we reckon this would be one hell of a gift for someone for their birthday!
PS/ Sorry there isn’t any picture of the food that was served as it was total darkness. This is what I see for the whole 2 hours.
Enjoy the experience & Bon Apetit!