Aida Zabidi

It’s a rare experience when you’re deprived of one of your most essential senses during a meal – your sight, but that’s exactly what Dining in the Dark does to you. 

A restaurant tucked away in between the busy bars of Changkat, the unassuming stairs leading to the restaurant lead you to a large corridor area with an open bar, where you are invited to sit at one of the couches in the area as the staff preps you for what is in store. 


I went with my two sisters, who were rather excited about the whole experience. We started off by being served pre-dinner drinks and playing a game to practice your sense of touch. In our case, we were blindfolded and had to find paperclips that were hidden within a container of uncooked rice, which is harder than it looks. Once you’re done, the staff will usher you into the restaurant, and this is done in an organized way, in small groups with a reasonable amount of time in between groups. Before going in, the staff asks you to put aside any items you have that might emit light – all phones and cameras included – into their locker. 

 

Then the experience starts. 

Dining in the Dark tries to put their patrons in a situation to empathize with those who do not have vision, and all their waiters are blind, which adds to the experience. We were introduced to our waiter, Cornelius, who was absolutely lovely and entered in train-like fashion, each of us putting our hands on the shoulders of the person in front, while Cornelius led the way in. 

I didn’t expect the interior to be… well, so… dark. I had assumed my eyes would eventually adjust to some dim lighting, but I kid you not, you could probably put your hand in front of your face and not see it. 

Cornelius was fantastic and gave very clear instructions, which made it surprisingly easy to navigate to our seats. 

Every course was served in specifically made containers – it felt like the bowls were fitted into specific grooves of trays, which I assume had been specially made for the place. Cornelius would instruct us to start at the lower left bowl and work our way anti-clockwise. 

The appetizers were fantastic – full of flavour, and absolutely delicious. We had four different ones, which were all very complementary. 

Then came two soups, which was interesting – one of our soups definitely had watermelon in it, so that was an unexpected surprise. 

The mains were a hit and miss – I loved one of the dishes (which later turned out to be five-spice duck), but the other two were slightly above average. 

Desserts were decent, but once again, it was a hit and miss. There were four different ones served with a sorbet, but I found the sorbet very overwhelming and preferred to have the desserts on their own. 

The whole experience of actually dining in the dark was really interesting – after awhile, I got used to being in the sensation of darkness, although my sister found it more comfortable to just close her eyes throughout the whole meal. It was interesting even to try pouring water into our own glass, which is something that I’d definitely taken for granted before. 

It was a whole lot of fun discussing the food options and trying to guess what was on our plates – after the end of our meal when we had been taken outside, we were shown the menu we’d been served, and there were some definite surprises on there! 

I suppose the challenge of the place is that you don’t really get to choose the menu for the night, so for better or worse, you have to try the different things – even if it’s something you don’t normally like - if you're a picky eater, you might struggle with this a little bit, but on the upside, you might be pleasantly surprised by something you might not have tried before. 

Overall, it really is a one-in-a-kind experience, an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something a bit different – and I would thoroughly recommend it! Menus change every month too, so even if you’ve been before, you can always come again in the future. The regular and vegetarian menu are RM118++ and the wine pairing menu is RM168++. Reservations recommended!

Dining in the Dark 
50-A Changkat Bukit Bintang 
50200 Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. 
Opening Hours: 600PM -930PM (Tuesdays to Sundays) 
Tel: 03-21100431 
Email: reservation@dininginthedarkkl.com
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