NOX – Dine in the Dark is well-known for its unique concept, which allows diners to dine in complete darkness while being chaperoned by visually impaired servers.
NOX – Dine in the Dark brings their diners on a culinary journey through a multi-sensory dining experience by temporarily taking away their sense of sight in return for a heightened sense of smell, taste, touch and sound, by engulfing them in pitch-black darkness that mimics what the visually impaired experience on a daily basis.
Giftano was invited to NOX – Dine in the Dark for a special dinner. Without giving too much away, this article will highlight what we went through in this mind-altering sensory experience while dining in the dark!
A short walk along Club Street led us to the luxurious entrance of NOX -Dine in the Dark’s new home. The pleasant staff at NOX – Dine in the Dark greeted us at the moon gate-inspired door and ushered us into a dimly-lit lounge where they described the concept and what to expect from the dining experience in their newly opened restaurant. To calm our nerves down, we were served creative cocktails from the bar followed by an amuse-bouche that aroused our senses and gave us a taste of what was to come. We experienced a spectrum of emotions, with some of us eager and others worried about what was to follow.
After enjoying our drinks, the wait staff advised us to keep our personal belongings in the lockers provided for safekeeping as we are not allowed to bring in any devices or accessories that emit light so that it does not interfere with the dining experience in the dark.
We were introduced to our visually impaired host, Kevin, a former DJ who lost his job due to his deteriorating sight. Kevin was waiting at the foot of a dimly-lit stairway providing us with detailed instructions on what to anticipate, as well as the dos and don’ts to adhere to upon entering the space. We ascended to the second level before Kevin instructed us to hold onto each others’ shoulders as he led us into a pitch-black room. It was here that we realised we have probably never experienced complete darkness before. We couldn’t see our hands right in front of us! We arrived at our table after passing through two curtains, the transitioning point where the roles are reversed and the blind became our eyes, opening our minds to a deeper consciousness. Each of our tables were set with a spoon, fork and a drinking glass (plastic, assuming this is for safety reasons) on the right side.
The first task of the dining experience was to fill our glasses up with water without spilling over the table or our laps. Wonder how? We’ll leave this for you to find out and experience when you visit NOX – Dine in the Dark.
We got to indulge in a delectable 3-Course Mystery Set Menu, where we were served tantalising appetisers, flavourful mains and refreshing desserts that cleansed our palates. Each course consisted of four unique dishes served in four individual bowls on a platter. Kevin placed our tray in front of us and instructed us to reach out to feel each of the four bowls, starting with the bowl closest to us, tasting each unique dish in a clockwise sequence.
This is where the difficult part begins. Using only our sense of touch, we had to feel for our cutlery and bowls, and attempt scooping the food into our mouths without spilling it on the table. We would try to guess what we were eating based on our sense of taste and smell after each bite. It is fascinating to witness how each ingredient’s texture, taste, and smell affects the impression of what we’re consuming.
Kevin would check in on us every now and then to see how we were doing while sharing his experience of being visually impaired. It was a memorable experience getting to know Kevin and the other visually impaired staff on the floor.
After a while, our eyes grew used to being in complete darkness and we were able to engage in regular conversations with our friends. We were laughing about our mistakes, some of us were holding the wrong cup while others failed to pick up the food because we were holding the spoon upside down. The entire experience was humbling and it helped us empathise with Kevin, who only lost his sight in adulthood.
We made our way back to the lounge where we were given a questionnaire to fill out, recording down what each of us thought we had for dinner. The staff took our forms and revealed each dish after we were done with the questionnaire. Some of us were confident we had correctly predicted the dishes, only to be proven wrong. The experience was enriching, and at times amusingly embarrassing. This was truly the best dining experience in Singapore by far!
After this unforgettable dining experience, it dawned on us just how difficult it must be for the visually impaired to manage daily tasks without sight. We learned from this experience to never take our sense of sight for granted.
This is without a doubt the most humbling and unique restaurant dining experience we have ever encountered. With the one-of-a-kind experience dining in the complete darkness, NOX – Dine in the Dark is truly Singapore’s most unique restaurant.
A visit to NOX – Dine in the Dark is a meaningful anniversary gift or birthday gift for friends and family to experience dining in complete darkness! In total darkness, NOX – Dine in the Dark will take guests on a gastronomic experience through taste, smell, touch, and sound. Gift this amazing experience at the most romantic restaurant in Singapore to the ones you love on Giftano.com
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