The night gave me black eyes, but I use them to look for light. (Gu Cheng)
If you have watched About Time, you will think of this incredible and hardly imagined place when Tim and Mary first met – Dans Le Noir – a restaurant where you can experience having dinner in completely dark.
Since it seems all customers have to share table there, Tim and Mary sat beside and meet each other for the first time. They introduced themselves, including their name, job, appearance, and their accompanies. They all happened in a completely dark scene, with only their whispers in noisy voice and softly melody. What a hardly imagined scene. Finally, I got a chance there yesterday.
We made the reservation at 8:45 pm. The sky was not dark at all. When we arrived at the restaurant, the street in front of it is quite different from the one in the film. Once we stepped in Dans Le Noir, the hall is similar to the regular restaurant, with bar and few tables for customers drinking or resting. However, there is a row of lockers on the left side of the hall. We are informed to lock all our belongings here, including coats, purse, iPhones and any shining stuff. It is the best way to have food in a completely dark environment without any bothering belonging.
The reception gave us a number card for our order and a menu. The main meals are separated in four colours and each of them represent different types. We ordered a surprise and a meat meal.
There is a aisle in the end of the lockers. The entrance of the dining area is blocked by curtains on the right side of the aisle. The staff took us to the entrance and introduce our servant today. Gower is a visually less ability. He asked us to put our right hand on each other’s shoulder one by one to our table. Thankfully, there is no step along the path.
When I sat down, it dawned on me that I have no idea where I was and what I supposed to be. It is not the dark that when you close your eyes you can still sense lights. It is not the dark that you get used to in a cave and you can vaguely see stuffs. It is completely dark. If you think you have or may have claustrophobic, it is not a good idea to dine here. According to the manager of Dans Le Noir, at least one diner per week freaks out after two minutes and has to leave.
I felt lost when I sat on the chair. There was no difference when I opened or closed my eyes. If I would like to have a cup of water, I have to stretch my fingers along the table until I touch the glass. When Gower served me the main dish, I tried to use my fork to insert a morsel. Sometimes I thought I have done it, but actually there were plenty of empty fork in the mouth moments. I could not tell what I have eaten, how they were cooked. I could barely tell beef and lamb.
There were few sketches of servants on the way to the toilet. Their smile in these paintings reminded me of the moment when Tim finally meets Mary outside of the restaurant. They all smile in a shy and implicitly way.
If you would like to know the details of the menu, please keep scrolling down. However, if you may have go to Dans Le Noir by yourself, perhaps you should skip this and experience it personally.