It isn’t every day you write a restaurant review without mentioning what you ate. It also isn’t every day you eat without a single shred of light. Which, to answer a highly unoriginal question, refers to a level of darkness equivalent to having your eyes closed. Yes, we’re talking a pitch black that—unless you sadly suffer from nyctophobia—makes for a genuinely enthralling affair.
The unique concept has been around since 2014, with the mission of supporting the visually impaired community. Now reopened at Club Street, the restaurant has not only retained all of its original waitstaff but also elevated the accompanying bar. Yes, the one that’s not in the dark.
Occupying the first floor, the space that first welcomes you looks no different from other bars in the area; classy, moody, save for the RGB art wall that manifests three different themes according to the light change. A nod to (and a good test of ) colour blindness.
You are treated to a refreshed cocktail menu by Sam Wong of Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall and Diageo World Class fame, together with a complimentary amuse-bouche. They don’t disappoint, but also pose incentive as proof for the ’gram; because never mind you not seeing your food; if the world doesn’t see you not seeing your food, did you really eat in the dark? Truly a modern-day riddle.
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After locking your belongings away and slinging the key around your neck, you are guided upstairs by your specialised hosts to the abyss that is the night’s dining hall. The dark does require an initial moment to adapt to, and your gaze will likely be drawn to the red circles of the infrared CCTV cameras as the sole thing your sight can discern. It’s also fun to engage your spatial awareness via audio cues.
For once, you don’t eat with your eyes, or camera, first. While we won’t reveal the dishes so as to not rob you of the novelty of figuring out your chow, what we will disclose is that the three-course modern European menu is served in four styles each. Uncomplicated in culinary preparation, so you don’t have much of an excuse when you are presented a little pop quiz at the end of the night.
All things considered, the experience is still the main draw, especially when you get to compare notes and see how attuned your palate is at the menu unveiling once back downstairs. Tasting menus are priced from SGD88, and you can up the ante with mystery wine and cocktail flights from SGD30 and SGD50 respectively. Should you want to revisit, plan it accordingly as the menu changes after every two months.
Nox – Dine in the Dark is at 83 Club Street, Singapore 069451.