There’s more to black than just darkness and grief. Just a couple of weeks ago, I spent my weekend in Vietnam with my former employees who turned out to be friends for keeps. On our last night at Ho Chi Minh City, we tried a French restaurant that was known for giving its guests the opportunity to dine in the dark. It’s a concept that features a dining experience that relies on the other senses to let the visitors connect with their surroundings and the people they’re with.
Our dining experience started with a game. With our eyes blindfolded, we were given a shape sorter and a bowl of rice with a small pin to hunt with. The darkness forced us to rely on our sense of hearing, feeling, touching, and smelling. As we indulged on our 4-course meal with our eyes closed, I was filled with excitement and felt the thrill of tasting food without even knowing what it is. Starting with the topmost plate, I was delighted with a taste of Eastern and Western fusion. I remember eating something crunchy among the mystery dishes and it got me wondering if what I ate was something exotic. My imagination ran wild to the point where curiosity nearly got the best of me and I almost took my blindfold off. It was scary and funny at the same time.
As we went out of the room, I started to wonder why the staff began singing Happy Birthday. I didn’t think it was for me since I knew my birthday was still a bit far. But the moment my former employees handed me a bouquet of flowers, I was surprised and immediately felt thankful as the five of them greeted me with glee.
What started as a normal dinner ended up as a huge surprise, to which I can safely say that eating at Noir was one of the best I’ve had in terms of concept, service, and cuisine.