Imagine a lavish dinner spread in front of you. Everything from starters to deserts. Imagine that you are so hungry that just want to jump in. And now imagine, what if the dinner room is totally dark? Zero light. Heard of the concept of ‘Dark Dining’? Having dinner in the dark was the concept introduced in Germany. It aims at the removal of vision to enhance the other senses and increase gastronomic pleasure. I had such a dinner experience today. And it was something I have never experienced before!
So it started with a normal evening when we college friends decided to hang out and have dinner in Phoenix mall. We would have gone for Burger King or Subway if we wouldn’t have come across this interesting looking restaurant ‘Dialogue in the Dark’. The concept of eating in dark seemed very weird but looking at the restaurant’s compelling tag line, ‘Come, and awaken your senses. Soak in the darkness!’, we decided to try it once.
We were told to put away our phones, watches and everything else emitting light in lockers before entering the dark restaurant. Excited to see if the insides of the restaurant were actually dark or not, we lined up and entered in. And oh my god, there wasn’t even a trickle of light. It was pitch dark! How were we supposed to even go ahead when we could not see a single thing, leave aside having dinner? And then we heard a sweet, inviting voice of a lady who, she said, was going to help us today with our dinner. We walked straight, taking baby steps, as per the instructions that the lady gave us. It was very scary to walk without getting to watch the surroundings. Finally we settled on our table, guessing by the voices, who was sitting where.
The lady interacted with us and told us not to be frightened. The sense of eyesight was taken from us; we were supposed to enjoy our dinner only by touch, smell and taste. How interesting! Our server announced that food was now being served. And I have never paid attention to the food smell as I did then. The smell was intense, drawing me to taste it immediately. And we had to put up a bit of struggle in the beginning to feel the food, pick up a piece and eat it. We all realized the difficulty the visually impaired would be facing, having to do everything in such darkness.
It was such a unique experience to taste the food and guess what it is. We all had so much fun guessing paneer barbeque, fried vegetables and hara bhara kabaab and debated on it. Had to eat with both hands as the spoon-fork etiquette wouldn’t work here, and my fingers kept going into the sauce :P. On top of that, my mischievous friends kept throwing bottles, kept poking and scaring each other in the dark.
We jokingly kept asking the lady to give us her night-vision goggles, which we assumed she would have. And as she recognized each of us by our names and kept talking to us, she promised to give her goggles outside. I enjoyed the dinner so much. Scary as it was, the dark dining experience was something I had never done before. And it was totally worth! All I could think then was what I will write in my blog. We again formed a chain, holding the person in front by shoulders and walked to the entrance, following the lady. And as we came in the light, the lady joked, ‘So do you now want my night-vision goggles?’ We were all speechless and had the greatest shock. The lady was blind!
We went home with an exciting experience and a newly realized respect for the blind. Dark dining is worth trying, if you have access to such a restaurant around. It makes you realize how lucky you are, with all the senses working perfectly. It makes you feel thankful that you don’t have to face the scary darkness every day. One more thing to include in my list ‘New things tried in Bangalore’! More experiences to share, laters! 🙂