Dans le Noir is a concept that has met with success abroad. Similar restaurants exist in London, Melbourne and Paris. Today diners in the Belgian and Flemish capital too can enjoy this unusual experience.
First you are taken to your table by somebody who is visually impaired. Then you get the opportunity to discover taste in an entirely different way. Socialising in the dark too may be a new experience. Smartphones are banned and can be left in a safe deposit box.
Throughout the meal you get support from a visually impaired guide, who was chosen because of his or her skills in functioning in the dark. The restaurant chain also hopes to enhance positive awareness with regard to visual impairments. All guides receive 15 days of training to ensure the premises hold no secrets for them.
Vlora Mernica is one of their number: “First you start off welcoming people and providing a short explanation about what’s going to happen. Then I take the guests to their table. I also serve the guests. There are starters, a main course and a desert. Afterwards I guide the guests to the exit.”
What exactly guests find on their plate remains a mystery during the meal.
“Customers inundate me with questions, but I ask them to tell me what they can taste. Only at the very end are they told what they’ve eaten” says Vlora.