Are you afraid of the dark? Well, you need not be, not at Dialogue In The Dark at least, because this will be a once in a lifetime experience for you. If you don’t already know what we’re hinting at, well, then you’re in for a treat! Taste of Darkness, the non veg restaurant for Dialogue In The Dark, has been the all that people can talk about since its opening in Hyderabad and rightfully so.
This innovative restaurant provides you the opportunity of having your meals in complete darkness. So, you don’t get the privilege of “eating with your eyes” here, but you definitely get to savour every mouthful with your taste-buds. So without the sense of the sight to assist you, it ought to be fun trying to make out those dishes all the while keeping your table manners right.
First Things First
In December 1988, Dialogue in the Dark came into existence in Frankfurt, Germany and after 10 years of touring the world as a travelling exhibition, a permanent establishment was set up in Hamburg, Germany. The founder, Andreas Heinecke, wanted to establish a platform for role reversal where the seeing become blind and are assisted by the blind in their experience. Thus, stressing on creating empathy for the disabled.
There have been exhibitions in more than 30 countries. Taste of Darkness is the restaurant chain of Dialogue in the Dark, a pre-ordered sit-down dinner of 50 people in complete darkness. Rated by Forbes as one of the top 25 unusual dining experiences that one must experience in their lifetime, this unique restaurant had its first opening in Hyderabad by SV Krishnan and Sudha Krishnan. Now there are 3 branches in India – Bangalore, Hyderabad and Raipur – and 10 more across the world.
What They Bring To The Table
This is one of those experiences which you will definitely want to keep in your bucket list of artsy activities. We visited the Bangalorean Dialogue in the Dark. It’s located on the top floor of Phoenix Marketcity at Whitefield. The only thing that can be seen from outside is the reception desk and a couple of cushioned chairs. The receptionist welcomed us to the “unique experience” of Dialogue in the Dark. She explained to us the concept of Dialogue in the Dark and rules and regulations that we needed to abide by if we were to enter the restaurant. We agreed, and then she presented us with the menu.
The menu consists of only four items to choose from – the Veg Starter Platter, Non Veg Starter Platter, Smart Pop’s Veg and Non Veg platter – which is the fancy name for three-course meal. We opted for the non veg starter platter.
What Went Down
As soon as we registered for the unique dark dining experience, we were provided with the key to a locker. We were advised to keep all our belongings – wallets, phones, watches and bags in the locker. No light emitting object was allowed inside the restaurant. After we were done keeping our belongings safely in the locker, the receptionist opened a security door for us, which was fingerprint activated. We stepped into another realm – the realm of darkness !
Darkness. Pitch black darkness. Not even a single speck of light. A voice welcomed us from the darkness. She asked our names, where are we from and what we do. Then she told each of us to put our hands on the shoulder of the person in front us. The first person in the queue followed her inside, we all trailed behind one another, forming a human chain. She lead us inside the restaurant. We couldn’t see anything! It was like as if we were in the deepest of sleeps. The voice told us the directions to take once we were near the table. With a bit of difficulty, we sat down. Voices of normal conversations filled the air around us. “Dialogue in the Dark” – It all made sense.
Food, Fantasy & Fun
Water bottles were served to each of us. We tried feeling the table, the chair, the plates around us with our hands. It was like all the other senses were working in hyper mode. Food was served to us within ten minutes or so. The same voice that guided us to our tables, helped us to feel the food with our hands. First came the starters. Now, it is a policy of the restaurant not to disclose the menu as it would spoil the suspense. We would love you to try out and explore the vegetarian and non veg menu by yourselves. And it’s actually fun to try and guess the food that you are eating, without looking at it. Nose, tongue and fingers – these three senses combine and give an extremely unique experience.
We had our starters, main course and desserts, one after the other. We conversed with each other. We heard other people converse. Finally, we completed eating our food. That voice returned. She enquired about our experience and asked us to try and guess the menu. We got few of the items right. We were very eager to know that how actually she was able to see us, guide us and serve us food in that pitch black darkness. The most common thought will be that the waiters had some kind of night gear which enabled them to watch in the dark. But the truth is far from it. She promised us to tell her “little secret” once we were out of the restaurant. We left our seats. Eagerly, we again followed her voice. This time, she let us outside. First specks of light ! Door opened. Finally, light ! What we saw next amazed us.
That voice. The voice which guided us and served us our food – that voice was of a woman. A special woman – blind woman. Yes ! Our guide in this dark-themed restaurant was a blind woman. In fact, all of the waiters who served in the restaurant are blind. We stepped into their world for a short duration of time inside the restaurant. It was actually kind of a role reversal where the blind guided the ones with the eyes! That is the very essence of this wonderful experience. That realisation and experience (and that non veg platter) will be etched in our memories for a very long time. The waitress told us about the rigorous training she went through before being able to serve and make all the customers happy. We had nothing but appreciation for her.
Finally, we took our belongings from the locker, adjusted ourselves to the realm of lights and went forward to our normal lives.
Explore them here.
Photos Courtesy Of: Dialogue In The Dark