Something monumental has happened.
There’s a restaurant in London where mobile phones and cameras are outlawed, non-fussy eaters welcome and trust in your waiter is key.
I know, I know, I couldn’t believe it either! For some reason the newspapers haven’t picked up on this astonishing news yet (slackers), so I’ll give you the scoop.
– Sidenote: There are no foodie pictures to accompany this post, for a good reason.
If you’re a regular browser of my Instagram feed, you’ll know that I celebrated my big 3-0 (Eek!) last week, and organised an unusual dinner for my friends. When it comes to dining out, up here in The Big Smoke, we’re spoilt for choice and I wanted to do something slightly adventurous. – After all, you can go out for pizza any time!
Dans Le Noir? allow diners the unique experience of enjoying a meal without the aid of sight, served by waiters who are blind. The concept intensifies your other senses and makes you re-evaluate perceptions of taste and smell. For once, the blind become your eyes to guide you into an intriguing new way of dining.
On arrival, we were asked to put all of our belongings into lockers, so that there was no light in the room and so the waiters wouldn’t trip over our handbags. We had selected our surprise menus a week in advance; a choice of vegetarian, meat, fish and exotic/unusual, and ordered drinks in the dimly lit reception area before being introduced to our guide, Nadine.
We formed a conga line and guided by Nadine, we were expertly manoeuvred through a series of heavy curtains, into a pitch-dark room and seated. She explained where our cutlery and other dining paraphernalia were laid out on the table.
Our drinks arrived, followed by the starters. And so, the guessing game began.. for us vegetarians in the group, identifying peas wasn’t a difficult task, however we were confused about the type of cheese we were eating, and that we could also taste strawberry! It was a strange combination, but I won’t ruin the surprise in case you decide to visit! (If you really wanna know, I’ll be posting a vlog about our experiences very soon, so keep an eye out for that!)
The carnivores were pretty certain that there was something furry on their plate, however they loved the rest of their meal. Eww. YUK! One particular
daring friend opted for the exotic/unusual menu.. until the part where she ate something that made her vomit –lovely! ..aside from that, she loved the Crocodile! Yes! That’s right, you read that correctly. *inserts shocked emoji*
Amazingly, when robbed of the sense of vision, I noticed that people generally talk more loudly. The waiters are also loud because they’re constantly giving verbal warnings that they are on the move. I think we all tended to speak louder because there was no non-verbal acknowledgement that people were listening or could hear us. Also, there was no body language coming from the fellow diners signalling that we should tone it down, so everyone just kept on shouting!
Nadine did an amazing job taking care of everyone, keeping us all relaxed and generally keeping the situation under control.
After the meal, Nadine led us into the light again, and we were shown the menu’s of what we’d eaten. Oh how we misjudged most of it!
If you’re after a unique experience, stripping social interaction back to its bare essentials with no visual distractions, this is awesome and I absolutely loved it! If you’re a fussy eater, I’d steer clear!
In most restaurants the waiter is just expected to deliver the correct meal to the correct person and that’s about it. Here, they are your guides and you get to walk a ‘meal’ in their shoes. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)