Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Blind Restaurant: Eating in the Dark

Over the weekend, my friends and I went to Seoul for my friend's birthday.  Saturday night we had dinner reservations at Blind Art Restaurant, which offers a very unique experience: eating in complete darkness.

When we arrived, we had to put all of our belongings in lockers.  No cell phones, watches, or anything that has the potential to produce light was allowed in the dining room.  We then had to wait in a dimly lit area, where we were lined-up single file with our hands on the shoulders of the person in front of us.  A waiter (wearing night-vision goggles) led us into a pitch-black dining room and ushered us into a booth.  You literally could not see anything!  Sometimes when you're in a dark place, your eyes semi-adjust to the darkness and you can see some things...but not in this place.  I couldn't see my friends sitting beside or across from me, and I definitely couldn't see my food sitting right in front of me when it came out.

We were served a 5-course meal consisting of a mysterious appetizer that tasted something like bacon and bell peppers with a sauce, penne pasta with alfredo, salad, a grilled chicken breast with mashed potatoes and grilled veggies, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.  I could not see the food I was eating, so every bite was a bit of a surprise.  I had to (attempt) to cut my chicken breast blind, that was fun (note the sarcasm).  My friends and I were all thankful that we couldn't see each other eating because I'm sure it would have been embarrassing but funny: food missing our mouths, trying to feel around our plate, trying to scoop/stab your next bite onto your fork or spoon, and maybe dropping food in the process.  It has been said that when one sense is taken away, then the other four senses are heightened.  I don't know if my sense of taste was heightened at all during my hour-or-so of blindness, but the meal was quite good.

It was a very interesting experience.  I have found out since that there are other blind restaurants in other major cities around the world, including the US.  For more information on Blind Art Restaurant in Seoul and about the blind-dining experience, here's a link:

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