Saturday, 11 June 2016

Can't See Dinner @ NOX Dine in the Dark

This is a blogpost that will have minimal photos because I am in total darkness most of the time during the dinner time except at the lounge.

So what to expect for dining in the dark?

We were first greeted by the staff at the lounge. No worries, there's light at the lounge. We were served a small appetizer and presented with the drinks menu. You can order wine, beer, cocktails to drink in the lounge or to go with the food later. They also have still or sparkling water. We, the stingy couple, tried to ask the staff if they serve tap water and the answer is no, they don't serve tap water. So we paid $8 for a bottle of still water.

After we are done with ordering the drinks, wait for the staff to call us to walk through the door to the dining area. Before we enter, we were asked to put our belongings and anything that is likely to emit light such as mobile phone and watch in the locker. We were then greeted by our guide who will guide us through the door and to our table.

Wah! That's a really challenging one. Once we pass through the door, it gets dark, and you can hardly see what's around you. The even more challenging part is there's a flight of stairs to climb before we can reach the dining area.

We were asked to put our hands on the shoulder of the person in front and follow the guide to walk up the stairs. We kept ahh.. ahh.. ahh.. and asking the guide to slow down. Finally, we heard the guide say the end of the stairs and we were so relieved. The guide gave clear instructions on directing us to our table and when I feel my chair, I immediately slump into it and felt so relieved! Haha..

From this point onwards, all you can use was your sense of touch because it was total darkness in the dining area.  The guide guided us to touch the utensils on our right and the glass in front of the utensils. Okay, the bottle of still water we ordered has come and we have to pour the water into the glass ourselves! Slowly reach out to the bottle, grab the bottle, feel the bottle cap and open it. The use your right hand to get the glass that is in front of your utensils, and pour the water. How do you know the water is full? Use your finger to dip in the cup to feel it. Oh my!! such a simple task of pouring water become so difficult when I can't see!

Here comes the interesting part. The food! The dinner is a 3 course dinner and there are 4 small bowls of dishes in each course. No worries, it is not so challenging to the point of asking you to cut your steak or fish in the dark. The dishes were all prepared in the small bowl in small pieces with no bones etc. So you can just scoop the food up with a fork or spoon and put it in your mouth.

The first course was served.The guide informed that there are 4 small bowls in front of us and that we should eat them in clockwise direction starting from the dish that is nearer to us. The fun part is guessing what is it that we ate! We were surprised that what I think I was eating and the actual food differs!

What I thought I am eating
First course (Appetizer):
Dish 1 - Rocket salad with nuts
Dish 2 - Smoked meat with olives (I have no idea what meat is that haha)
Dish 3 - Calamari with pepper and some taste-like mayonnaise sauce.
Dish 4 - Fatty pork with fruits cocktail ( I was still thinking why they give me the fats of pork as appetizer)

Second course (Mains):
Dish 1 - Beef cubes with long beans
Dish 2 - Some pork with those Indian green peas curry sauce
Dish 3 - Cod fish with mushroom and sauce
Dish 4 - Pork belly, Sio ba, with sweet potato

Third course (Dessert)
Dish 1 - Grapefruit sorbet ice cream
Dish 2 - It sounded like plastic when I poke my fork. There's also kiwi fruit (have no idea what is this)
Dish 3 - Cheese cake with a crunchy thing (dunno what is that)
Dish 4- Chocolate lava cake but inside is cold instead of hot

After each course, the guide came automatically and asked if we were done, then he would clear the dishes and send us the next course. When the guide wanted to serve the food, he said 'hands off the table', and we guai guai cleared our hands off the table for him to put the food.

After we had all the 3 courses, the guide is here to led us back to light. I must give credit to the guide, it is really not easy to maneuver around in darkness and they still have to serve the food. They were great! Oh, I was initially quite worried of walking down the stairs in darkness but luckily, I was able to see the steps when walking down, guess they open that door to let some light through.

After walking out of the dining area, we shook hands with the guide and thanked him, and he told us to take care of our sight. This is really a nice experience to let us realise how important it is to protect and take care of our eyes and to understand that it is not easy to perform daily chores for the visually impaired people.

We need to blink our eyes for a while to get used to the light again. We were then seated at the lounge and the staff presented to us what we really ate earlier.

What I am really eating
First course (Appetizer):
Dish 1 - Rocket salad with nuts [Bingo! I'm correct]
Dish 2 - Beef tartare [Okay, i dunno what meat is that when i was eating]
Dish 3 - Calamari with pepper with honey peach mustard [I only guessed the sauce wrongly]
Dish 4 - Foie gras [OMG!!! What a waste!! I thought of foie gras as fatty pork!!]

Second course (Mains):
Dish 1 - WAGYU Beef cubes with long beans [It's wagyu!!]
Dish 2 - Duck Confit [This one is ridiculous, I thought its pork with indian green peas curry!]
Dish 3 - Cod fish with mushroom and sauce [Bingo!]
Dish 4 - Pork belly, Sio ba, with sweet potato [Bingo!]

Third course (Dessert)
Dish 1 - Grapefruit and blood orange ice cream [half bingo!]
Dish 2 - Waffle biscuit with strawberry [Okay, i mistook kiwi for strawberry]
Dish 3 - Cheese cake with milo cubes [ohh.. so thats the crunchy thing]
Dish 4- Chocolate lava cake but inside is cold instead of hot [forgot the last dish, let it be a mystery lol]

Be sure to make a booking before you come as they are quite full usually and you must indicate what food you do not eat in the booking because you will not know what are the food that will be served before hand.

Overall, for $88++ per person, I would say it's a nice experience. The food were nice too! Even though you can't see them hahaha. Recommended to go experience it!