Just like true love, an exceptional taste for good food is also blind

Read more about the unique culinary experience that takes place in complete darkness.
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Blog Published September 7, 2022
Edited May 24, 2024

We have become too dependent on our vision. We experience almost everything with our eyes, but we have four other senses that we often disregard, dismissing them ruthlessly and without consideration, because if a dish doesn’t look Instagram-worthy, then it surely can’t be tasty, right? Our world on Instagram, where we spend an average of 4 miserable seconds judging the quality of everything to decide if it’s worth experiencing or not, offers very limited superficial pleasures. This applies to everything, from the people you love to the food you consume daily. What if we temporarily took away your sight, so you could truly immerse yourself in the food you eat, without your strongest and most common sense? What would food and drink taste like then?

Where it all began

In the past decade, “Dine in the Dark” or “Dans le Noir” restaurants, where guests pay to enjoy food and drinks in complete darkness, have become increasingly popular.

It all started in France. “Le goût du noir” or “the taste of darkness” is a figurative translation of the first dark restaurant in Paris, founded by Michel Reilhac, which offered food and drinks in complete darkness, guided by blind and visually impaired waiters. The official program was introduced in the late 1990s, with the restaurant opening in the Montorgueil district in the summer of 1999. However, the restaurant was only open temporarily. Four years later, French entrepreneur Eduard de Broglie, in collaboration with the Paul Guinot foundation for the blind, established the restaurant “Dans le Noir”, which later evolved into the first international chain of dark restaurants, eventually expanding to London, Auckland, Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, Nantes, and Saint Petersburg.

The absence of one sense

But what makes dining in the dark worthwhile, if visual appeal is said to be half the meal, as gourmet experts claim? Popular intuition suggests that other senses become heightened as a result. The senses of smell and taste become more sensitive to differences in texture and consistency. The smell and taste of food intensify when the lights go out, making dining in the dark a wholesome, immersive experience.

Dinner in the dark in Ljubljana

Upon arrival, guests must leave all light-emitting devices in the cloakroom lockers. They can navigate through a mysterious menu with their sense of touch and taste, served by highly trained waiters. Not only will you experience a complete sensory journey, but also an entirely new way of socializing. Rediscovering the other senses is also a way to return to basics. Each evening features an exclusive program, where an entertainer guides you through various challenges and games, making the unique evening even more engaging.

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Unique dinner experience in a pitch-black restaurant
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