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!
It’s like the thing in When In Rome? I remember you tweeting about having a dinner in the dark and thought it would be a candle lit dinner. Hehe. It looks so fun and exciting!
I have seen When in Rome but I cant remember they did something like this. Maybe I need to re-watch it. haha! Many thought nga, we had candlelight dinner so I blogged it ASAP na rin. It is exciting!
Wow, this is incredible! This kind of restaurant was also on About Time (Rachel McAdams), hehehe. Having to read your experience was so exciting and I would love to experience this myself, too! Soon I hope 😀
Haven’t seen that About Time! I’ll go check it out nga. It is really exciting. Maybe soon when you’re here in Manila. 🙂
This looks sooooo fun! Haha. Will add this to our list of restos for our upcoming dates, too.
You should Da!
I ‘ve ALWAYS wanted to try this!! Thanks for the full breakdown on how it happened – I’m going to try to convince my husband that we should definitely try it out!
Zaki @ Have That Cake
Well forgive our dirty minds for running lol, dining in the dark, definitely something i would love to try.
I recall seeing something like this in a movie but it wasn’t this dark and they had on night vision googles.
About to add it to bucket list and their design is so so pretty
Oh, it’s okay. haha! It is worth trying.
I don’t remember it in This Means War. I think I should watch it again! Hahah. This is sooooo coool!! It’s fun because the only thing you can do is just talk and eat! Hahah! No gadgets or anything. Hoping to try this when I visit Manila 🙂
Haven’t seen This Means War maybe I should not trust my boyfriend that much. haha! Yes, we’re actually just talking, no camera, internet and social media to document everything. It’s a break from being a blogger. haha
This is what I’ve been telling my friends about because I really want to try it! I have seen some reviews on Looloo, some liked the food, some didn’t. Doesn’t matter I still want to try it! It just sounds exciting to me and I am up to try anything new. And I want to be able to say that I did it in the dark too hahaha…
I liked their food naman. You should go try it. It’s nice with friends too because you got to bond talaga. No selfies and social medias! I feel you. I love saying it too.
This one is so intriguing! And it sure looks fun! I wanted to try it but i dont think my husband (who is KJ) will be game! I might do it with a bff instead? I hope it works fine though mas okey pag kasama si hubby.. hahaha.. i heard another dine in the dark resto somewhere in QC i think.. but this one is more accessible near century mall. Will visit this when im around! 🙂
HAHAH! You should level up your charms then so he’ll come with you. 🙂 I’ve never heard about the one in QC. I need to research that.
Looks exciting!!! Thanks for sharing your dining experience. Now, we know what to expect, We wanna try it as soon as we get back to Manila ?
Maybe Dubai has also this concept!! 🙂 It’s all over the world!
the opening for your blog was pretty suggestive but I had guessed it would have been dining in the dark… sadly I have not had the chance to experience it yet… we do have one of this in Malaysia so I hope I can do it soon too…
I heard there’s one in Kuala Lumpur but I’m not quite sure if it’s exactly the same. Still worth a try though. 🙂
Intersting! Actually saw something like this in About Time (my favorite movie, if you haven’t watched it, you should!). I’d loved to give this a try one day. Sounds like a great experience!!!
You’re the second one who’ve said that. I’ll watch it ASAP
This is a great concept and a unique one. Dining in the dark takes away the distraction and all you need to focus is on how to eat and tasting the food. You get to talk with your date too since phones are off limits. Sounds challenging though, great job on finishing all 5 courses!
Ooooh finally an actual experience, I’ve been reading about this but everything is PR. Was this sponsored? Are you allowed to share the menu? Haha We’re trying this sometime! Definitely a unique experience!
Hi, Yan! Nope not sponsored. It is a treat from my boyfriend’s aunt that is currently working on the hotel. She asked me to blog it lang for exposure, good or bad, basta my experience. I’m allowed but I choose not too so the other will be surprised as well. 🙂
My biggest fear always was to become blind. I think it must be so hard when you’ve always seen, to be blind. However this experience can give you a taste of how it’s like to always live in the dark. This would be so scary to me. Nothing I would like to experience, since it’s my biggest fear. I can tell you that I look up to you since you’ve done it! Wow!
I also saw this kind of dinner date before and it looks a little scary to me. I have 20/20 vision, but I really can’t see in the dark. I am not sure if I have this thing called night blindness, but I think my situation is not too serious pa naman.
I’m sure it’s a one of a kind experience because I can’t imagine myself doing anything with no lights! Imagine, I have a job that involves coding, facing the computer and stuff. But, I met a visually impaired programmer before and I am really really amazed! It’s amazing how they’re able to do what they love to do even with the impairment, so what would stop us, right? They’re so inspiring!
I think I told you what I think about this interesting restaurant on instagram hehe. I’ll definitely check out the one in Bangkok and London some day, thank you for letting me know!
Also, I nominated you for the Liebster Award ! I really hope you accept it but the choice is completely yours :’)
Love this, B! I saw this first in About Time (one of my faves) and I fell in love with the idea of disconnecting to the social world in order to connect with the real world. I don’t know if I can do this though, I’m nervous!!! HAHA
I’m not the clumsiest person, but I’m afraid to make a total mess out of myself if I try this out. Haha. Might have to invite my friends for dinner soon!
xx, Richel Goes Places
WOW. WOW. WOW. I also remembered that movie upon reading this. Did JC have some night-vision goggles as well? I just wonder if their kitchen is also in the dark cause it’s quite hard to cook and fix your food if it will be done in the dark also. But this is really a great way to date and bond with people. No access to your devices so you could really connect with who you are with.
No, JC is visually impaired. His left eye (I think) is 100% blind and his right one can see 30%. He trained for almost 3 months until he became a darkness expert. They’re good and very accommodating. He really took care of us inside. The kitchen has lights! 🙂
Would you go back and eat there again, or was it just a novelty for you? I like the concept. The first time I heard of eating in the dark was on an episode of an earlier season of Hell’s Kitchen. It’s not surprising to see one open here as the economy has boomed and a lot of people are bringing in unique concepts.
And unique, there is nothing like dining in the dark. I don’t know about the food, but the fact that this is how you eat is quite an experience.
If the price is not an issue, I’ll sure eat again. I enjoyed my experience there and I love there charity cause as well. I think everyone should try this even just once. 🙂
I love the concept of this “dine in the dark!” You know that it isn’t just for a gig but for a cause instead. I really love how the management come up with this idea. I see that it doesn’t just focus on how it feels to be visually impaired but also to get a good dinner by disconnecting ourselves for the meantime from the cyber world. This really gives me realization to appreciate of what we have indeed.
I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s a little pricey because part of their income actually goes to a charity for the blind people. This dine in the dark concept is more than just a fine dining dinner. It’s also about disconnecting and appreciation.
By the time your eyes adjusted to the darkness, can you not still not see a shade of your food? It’s kinda hard to put something in your mouth that you can’t see? Nevertheless, this experience is worth trying…
I still can’t. My eyes are actually trying really hard to adjust and it’s tiring. So I decided to just close my eyes in the middle of our date night since there are no difference anyway. It is actually. It’s the challenge!!
We had our first dinner in the dark couple months ago and it was really interesting and nice experience. The food was good and it was quite a surprise that using a fork and knife was possible without seeing them. However understanding the portion sizes was quite impossible.