I was quite hesitant at first when Paul asked me because I’ve never tried doing it in the dark. I can be clumsy at times (well, most of the time) and can turned this thing into a disaster. Also, it will be a new experience and challenge for us two since we love doing it with lights on. So when we were invited to try Noche: Dine in the Dark, we definitely say yes! (I hope your imagination didn’t bring you into some dark places. 😉 )
If you’re following me on twitter (@beadeegee #YesImShamelessPlugging), you knew how spontaneous this date was. Paul told me at 4PM that we have a dinner reservation at 6PM. (P.S due to late confirmation) Living in Rizal plus the Manila traffic, we all knew that its impossible to be in Makati in 2 hours. Good thing, they have two dinner services so they moved us at 8PM.
The warm welcome
Dine in the Dark has long been in the global dining landscape in various cities in the world. My boyfriend told me that he saw this dining in the dark concept in Reese Witherspoon’s movie This Means War. And it is now finally here in Manila – in A. Venue Suites Hotel to be exact. We were welcomed by Sir Ishmael and made us wait with the other 8 PM diners in the hotel restaurant, Granvia Cafe.
Much Needed Orientation
5 minutes before 8 PM, we were ushered in the reception area of Noche. Mae, who is born blind, talked about the concept and dining process in the dark since we have no idea how it will work. Unlike in other countries where the waiters have night vision goggles, the ones here in Manila are visually-impaired. They were trained for months to be “darkness experts”.
We were then shown a poster of our dining set-up, where the forks, spoon, and glass are located. There’s a high possibility we can spill food or water in our clothes. Good thing is that I’m wearing a navy blue dress in case. But you can always ask for aprons if you felt you need one. We were also informed of the rule that we can’t move around on ourselves and will be assisted if you need to go to the bathroom. Phones and anything that emits light (suspect #1: your watch) are not allowed to be taken inside and need to be in the secured baggage area. Disconnecting to the digital world it is.
Entering a New World
We were introduced to our darkness expert JC who will guide and attend to our needs in this whole dining experience. JC is in college when he was diagnosed with a tumor in the optic nerve that gave him a 100% blind left eye and at least maybe 30% vision on his right eye. Being visually challenged myself, (YES, I’m one of the girls who wears glasses for medical reasons and not for fashion) God knows how my heart easily sympathizes and cry with the visually impaired.
So JC asked us to form a human train as we enter the world of darkness. (sounds so dramatic but it really is so freaking dark) He guides us within curtains, tables, and walls and let us reach them so we’ll know where it is. After some lefts and rights, I managed to get on my seat without breaking anything including any part of my body. YAY!
Dining in the Dark Experience
After being seated, JC already went out to get our food. Paul and I being a weirdo and all familiarized ourselves with the utensils and did our best to pour water on our glasses. I was actually thankful that they took our phones because we have nothing to do but to talk about anything we thought of and entertain ourselves with our game “conyos” for the night. (I can’t though because I’m more of a street kinda girl lelz)
JC starts filling up our table from one course to another alongside with wine and mocktails. We had salad first then pasta, appetizer, main course, and desserts. I was excited because it’s our first fine dining foods but somehow worried for I don’t have any idea how I’ll eat them. I ate like a refined lady on the salad course, using my salad fork (oha!!), but I turned into a primitive lady at the appetizer course onward. I started using my fingers because I always end up losing my food after I slice it. No one would see me anyway and I love the food so much I need to find a way to eat it. Please don’t judge haha!
After 5 courses, I slipped into a food coma. #deadz
Welcome back to the colorful world
After my slight recovery from the food coma, we decided to go back to the world of lightness. JC again ushered us between tables and walls. Since our eyes have adjusted to the darkness for the last two hours, the lights are kind of hurtful at first. We were given a questionnaire after where we will guess what our mystery dinner is. It was revealed after with photos and descriptions and we had guessed 3 courses out of 5 right. Good job taste buds!
Noche: Dine in the Dark is not just a unique dining experience. I learned here to use my other senses and to take a break from the Instagram-my-food world. It was a relaxed date night, just good food and company. It also made me appreciate my sight more, I’ve always envied people with 20-20 vision growing up but it made me realize that I’m still lucky with my 500 eye grade. (Thank you, Lord!) I know that Noche can be quite uncomfortable but I promise you it’s worth a try.
Noche: Dine in the Dark
4L, A Venue Suites Hotel, Poblacion, Makati (near Century City Mall)
Opening Hours: Every Fridays, Saturday & Sundays; 6PM & 8PM
OPENING PROMO PRICE OF PHP 699 (2 Course) instead of Php 999, PHP 999 (3 Course) instead of Php 1,499 & PHP 1,499 (5 Course) instead of Php 1,999
Book here now!