Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Dining in the Dark, Changkat Bukit Bintang

*Photos taken using a compact Canon camera cause it'd be too troublesome for me to bring around my "big camera" (and we won't be allowed to take photos of the food anyways :P)

A restaurant in complete darkness. An experience of a lifetime.


Dining in the Dark KL, the first restaurant in Malaysia to introduce this concept where diners are literally blind throughout their four-course gastronomy dining which usually last about 2 hours!

Priced at RM118+ per pax, each customer at Dining in the Dark will be served with a surprise menu, where customer can opt for the good o' classic menu, or the vegan menu. Here's the classic menu, as extracted from Dining in the Dark website.
“OVERTURE” – Ice-breaker
Enjoy our complimentary aperitif and participate in our pre-dinner games to prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience.

“PRELUDE” – Appetiser
Begin your journey with four contrasting tastes and sensations.

A duet of flavours to keep you comfortable and relaxed as you await the next discovery.

Inspired by tradition, three works of art worth seeing – You’d wish you could have a glimpse.

A symphony of five different creations dedicated to all sweet endings.

I know, I know, the menu says NOTHING of what is going to be served. That's why it is exciting. You won't be able to know or see what they'll be serving you until you take a bite.

Rated as #1 restaurant in Kuala Lumpur at Trip Advisor , I couldn't believe that I was there.

It was a dream come true. I've been so keen to try out this place ever since I've heard about it and it all came true when I won Jkdrooling's giveaway contest! I got second prize but the first prize winner (Dining in the Dark voucher for two) , Choiyen, requested to switch with me.

Thank you so much!

Guan Ren & I made reservations and eagerly waited for the big day to come. We received reminder e-mails, sms(es) and calls one week, one day and one hour before our scheduled dining time! Kudos to their effort! :) We were told to arrive 15 minutes earlier for a briefing session.
Dining in the Dark's entrance, located in between Movida and The Steakhouse along the street of the forever-friday Changkat Bukit Bintang.

After a horrible parking experience when my family my I dined in El Cerdo (which is located adjacently opposite to Dining in the Dark), Guan Ren & I decided to park at Fahrenheit 88 (cheapest parking around Bukit Bintang area, I did my survey :P) and took a 10 minutes stroll there.
We walked up the dimly-lit stairways decorated with red carpet, mirrors & beautiful lamps, which leads us to the classy waiting lounge, where we were greeted warmly by the staffs.
The friendly staffs served a glass of cocktail to each of us and began briefing us about what to expect. Not sure what mix it was, but I enjoyed the sweet & sour sensation, with a tinge of saltiness in it.
Before our journey into the darkness, we had some pre-dinner game for us to get a glimpse of how it'd feel like later during dinner time. The first game: Search for three paper clips in a container filled with rice & red beans...with a blindfold.
Trust me, it is not as easy as it seems. We took about 5 minutes per person to complete this simple task haha! The rice grains and paper clips just seem to merge together...without our sight.
The second game: complete the puzzle with a blindfold. 

Surprisingly, Guan Ren completed this in less than 2 minutes. Even the waiter was stunned! Guan Ren claimed that it was so much easier than the first game but I wouldn't know cause I did not try this game out.

Once we're done with our game, it was time....
Before we were lead into the dining area, we were told to keep our phones/any light-emitting devices and shopping bag into the locker provided. And also to take a trip to the washroom as it'd be a lot of trouble if you were to visit the washroom in the dark. We were once again asked if we have any food allergies that they'd omit from their "secret menu".

The"Darkness Expert" aka Dining in the Dark visually-impaired servers will be leading you into the dining area. All Dining in the Dark waiters are visually impaired! Our server, Cornellius, was the most friendly & polite waiter I've ever came across! We introduced ourselves to him before entering the dining area so that he could recognize our voice when we need anything in the dark.

And there we go, hands on shoulders, forming a straight line, lead by Cornellius, into the pitch dark....

"Guan Ren...I'm scared,"
My eyes were really uncomfortable, and we seem to be walking into a never-ending journey into the darkness. Voices of chitter-chatters & clinking sounds of cutleries and glasses seems to be coming from every direction, blending in well with the soothing background music.

The room seems so huge. Everything feels so different without my sight.

Finally, we came to a halt. Cornellius then guided us one by one to our seat, and patiently describe where our cutleries were placed, where your partner is seated etc.

*touch* *touch* *touch* found my spoon and knife! *touch* *touch* *touch* ahhh here's my dessert fork! *touch* *touch* *touch* found my serviette!

"So how was your first two minutes in the dark?" Cornellius asked, as he served us our drinks. Two minutes? Our first two minutes felt like 10 minutes! Time seems to past so much slower, without our sight & also digital devices!

And then, our starters were served. Followed by the soup, the main, and  the desserts.

(Yes, that was how our food look like in the dark)

I don't want to spoil the fun so I won't go so far ;) my greatest achievement was to successfully used my cutleries throughout the whole meal! It was tough at first, as I poked the food (or air) blindly with my cutleries, trying to get a hold of the food. But I didn't want to look un-glam using my hands to eat while dressed up so nicely for the dinner

(Note: there are CCTVs around. So you can ditch the thoughts of doing anything funny in there :P)

All I'd say is I'd truly enjoyed my meal, from the starters to the desserts :) When one of your senses is blocked, your other senses becomes sharper to make up for it, which is what we felt in Dining in the Dark. Without our sights, we could truly savour the taste, the texture, and the smell of the food. And not to mention, no excessive fiddling with our phones too ;)

After we've completed our meals, we stayed around & talked to each other for a while. We called for Cornellius when we wanted to leave, and oh my, I had such a hard time adapting when we got out, despite the dimly lit waiting lounge! Guan Ren on the other hand, got used to it within seconds. His secret? Gaming in the middle of the night lol!

We were then ushered to the balcony overlooking the lively streets of Changkat, where we filled up the feedback form & had the menu revealed to us. We had such a great laugh, after finding out how miserably we failed at guessing the food served to us! I only got right for the desserts *cough* *coughs* cakes & beyond *coughs* 

I'd really recommend everyone to try out Dining in the Dark. It really was a unique & valuable experience like no other. Honestly the best dining experience I have ever experienced so far! If given the chance, I'd really want to come back again and play the guessing game of the food served to us. Dining in the Dark's menu changes from time to time to prevent any spoilers :P

Dining in the Dark Kuala Lumpur
44A & 46A Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Business Hours: 
6.30pm – 10.30pm Tuesday – Sunday
Closed on Mondays

Contact Number: +603 2110 0431
Reservation: +6012 251 5797

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