Enter into a room of darkness. You are led from the lit waiting area into utter darkness. Your spidey senses are tingling. You have no concept of space, distance or how many people are in there. Since your vision is impaired, you speak louder as a comfort mechanism. But the sounds bounces off the walls and it becomes hard to gauge how many tables are in the restaurant. You assume that over time your iris will adjust to the lack of light and you can see. But it is pitch black. Welcome to blind dining!
The blind dining concept originated in Switzerland. Dave told me about his experiences at O.NOIR in Toronto. Dark Table is owned by Moe Alameddine, founder of O.NOIR. Finally Vancouver has a chance to experience eating in the dark. Without vision, the senses of touch, taste, hearing and smell are intensified.
I was anxious throughout my dining experience and felt insecure. We reported out loud where we sat; using sound to gauge how far we were apart from each other. We reached out our hands to touch and to guess whose hand it was. Something we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. Our conversations overlapped. We could not see the persons’ lips move in anticipation whether they had finished talking.
Meals were reasonably priced. 39 for 3 course meal or 33 for start/main or main/dessert
STARTER (Surprise of the day): Spring green salad with some red cabbage, mushrooms, kale and an Italian vinaigrette. It was not an easy task to eat my salad has I tried to stab the leafy greens as I’m sure most got pushed onto the table and over myself. I’m glad I did not wear white or my Sunday’s best.
Fresh Ravioli with Jalapeno Rosemary Cream Sauce: Cooked al dente with a mild sauce. The ravioli was pillowy but flavours were one dimensional.
Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce, Potatoes and Vegetables: The pre-sliced tenderloin was in fact quite soft. It was hard to cut the meat when you cannot see where the knife meets the fork.
DESSERTS (Surprise of the day): Tiramisu. My fingers submerged into the side of the cake accidentally as I misjudged the distance my utensil between the table and the cake.
What a unique experience to rely on my sense of tastes, smell, and sound. My judgement is not altered by a sense of visually plate settings or ambiance in the room. Dark Table meals are reasonably priced for under $40 pp. Think of all the money saved from electricity and décor!
- An open mind;
- No high heels (safety precautions);
- Try not to wear anything white. Dining experience for the novice can get messy.
If you need to go to the washroom, call your guide server, and they will guide you Don’t worry, the washrooms are lit!
2611 West 4th Avenue Vancouver, BC V6K 1P8
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