REVIEW: DINING IN THE DARK


Dining in the dark: what does that connote to you? Whatever it may connoted to you, I am sure that you wouldn’t have associated this with a name of restaurant. Well, this indeed is the name of a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur which opened for business about three years back. So what? Well if I told you that this number one in the Trip Advisor ranking of KL restaurants,  you will perhaps sit up and read on. But my bet is that if you were to continue to read this piece, there is little doubt that you will not stand up in amazement!
This restaurant is open only in the evenings from 6 pm to 9 pm and there are two time slots for reservation in this period. Seating capacity is around 60 and there is a set menu, which is changed every month. There is also a special set menu for vegetarians. Nothing unique, isn’t it? But what if I told you, that before entering the restaurant,  you are asked to deposit you watch, mobile and any other likely light emitting  device in the lockers? You would get a little curious, won’t you? And then as a prelude, when you are still seated in the lobby, you are invited to blindfold yourselves and asked to play a game which involves picking out 4 metal paper clips which are hidden in a bowl of rice grains and some lentils. Sounds easy, but it isn’t! The idea is to focus on the tactile senses!
Then, when we, a group of four, had our warmup in this manner, we were introduced to our guide and bearer for the evening: a visually impaired person. He asked us to stand in a line, one behind the other, holding on to the shoulders of the person in front and he was at the head of the line. He told us not to panic , but walk in the line. And we were ked to a room which was pitch dark. We must have walked for about two minutes, turning left and right, but there was nothing that we could see, it felt like almost say, twenty minutes!
He led us to our table in the dark, and led us one by one to our seats around the table. He then told us to feel our way on the table to locate the napkin and the cutlery. He then took our orders for drinks, asked us about our meal preferences and then disappeared! And in the meantime, we could hear animated conversations from the nearby tables and at our own table, bereft of the mobiles and any light whatsoever,  we also started speaking to each other in a manner which we wouldn’t have done if there was a different.
And after sometime, he brought us our drinks, the correct drink to each of us, since the four of us had ordered separate drinks. When we asked him about what was going to be served to us, he said that we could attempt to guess while eating, but after our dinner and when we would be in the lobby, we could take a look at what was served and whether we had guessed correctly. There were four courses: the starters, two soups, main course and four desserts which followed one after another in a leisurely pace.
The quantum of each was rather small and there was more and more conversation just to fight off the eerie feeling of being in the dark. This was a very unique experience and when I chatted with the German owner later on, he said that there were a dozen of these throughout the world with 4 or 5 in Germany. A new one has opened in Singapore and there are a few operating in US as well. However,  he added that he had improvised on those concepts and his was the only one rated as  number one!  We were led out in the same way we were led in, and we were all surprised that there no dropped glasses or cutlery during the nearly 2 hour experience. The food was a little above average, priced very much above average, but the overall experience was absolutely unique! Would I go again? Unlikely, but I would certainly recommend this to my friends for a real dining in the dark experience!

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About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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