Dans le Noir London: Dining in Total Darkness

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Editorial Travelr
January 31, 2023
Imagine total darkness. The kind where you can’t even see your own hands. Now imagine dining in total darkness. Welcome to Dans le Noir.
Dans le Noir Restaurant in London, England - Travelr Magazine

Good gastronomy involves all our senses. Savouring the food is the most important, so good taste is indispensable. What about the other senses? Feeling the delicious aroma of a curry or the texture of a perfectly grilled filet mignon seems essential to me; therefore, smell and touch complete the list of indispensable senses.

According to a popular saying, “we eat with our eyes”, but Dans le Noir breaks that formula. There, you eat in complete darkness. Total! The hypothesis is that without visual stimulus, the other senses are sharpened, and we pay more attention to the taste, aroma, and texture of the dishes.

Located in Farringdon, central London, Dans le Noir offers 2, 3, or 5-course options for lunch or dinner.

How was the dining experience at Dans le Noir?

Restaurante Dans le Noir em Londres, Inglaterra - Revista Travelr
Eating in total darkness at Dans le Noir restaurant in London, England.

When my group arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by a hostess who explained what our experience would be like and the rules of the restaurant.

To ensure complete darkness, it is not permitted to bring any electronic device into the main hall. Right at the entrance, there are lockers with individual padlocks, where we left all our belongings, even watches.

On the first floor, there is a bar where we were initially escorted for a drink and to choose our dishes. The menu offers meat, fish, chicken, or vegan options. We also chose wine and dessert.

After the drink, we were introduced to the waiter who led us to the main hall. All the waiters at Dans le Noir are blind but impressively agile.

At the top of the stairs, before entering the main hall, the waiter warned us that, initially, we would feel disoriented and should make a single line, put a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of us, and walk together slowly, until he instructed us to stop.

As soon as we sat down, the service started, and we received the wine options and the first course within minutes. Adapting to eating in complete darkness was challenging, especially the main course. I quickly put the knife aside and guided the food to the fork with the help of my index finger. Refilling our glasses with wine was stressful. I was convinced I would leave the restaurant with a big wine stain on my pants.

When we finished our dinner, we were directed to the bar on the first floor, where we had the opportunity to see the menu. We were amazed by how many dishes and ingredients we guessed wrong.

How was the food at Dans le Noir?

Restaurante Dans le Noir em Londres, Inglaterra - Revista Travelr
One of the main course options at Dans le Noir in London, England.

All the dishes were quite tasty. The way the food was laid out on the plate surprised me. The chefs at Dans le Noir clearly have given much thought to how to eat a meal in total darkness.

My meat dish seasoning was less intense than I’m used to, but there were five dishes on my menu, and, generally speaking, they all pleased my palate.

The wine selection was of good quality and suited to the dishes served.

Dessert was my least favourite dish: it was made of puff pastry with cream and red fruits, but the flavours, like the meat, wasn’t sufficiently intense.

Como uma experiência, certamente recomendamos o Dans le Noir. A qualidade da comida e dos vinhos é boa, mas nada excepcional. 

Do we recommend the Dans le Noir?

As an experience, we certainly recommend the Dans le Noir. The quality of food and wine is good, but nothing outstanding.

The service was extraordinary, fast, warm, and pleasant.

The experience was intense but fun. I found it difficult to relax with the risk of being drenched with wine at any time, so we rate the Dans le Noir 4 out of 5.

The chain has other units in several countries. For more information about the menu or reservations, visit their website.

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