We didn’t even need to close our eyes.
It was pitch black and we just had to trust our server to guide us to our table without tripping or banging into anything.
This was our experience at Dining in the Dark KL – a sensory experience that tests your senses. Every moment inside I thought that my eyes might adjust to the darkness and I might get a glimpse of something, but it never did…and that’s the whole idea of this experience.
It’s early in the evening, and we arrive to the busy Changkat area of Kuala Lumpur. A strip filled with bars and restaurants…and a hell lotta light.
Located next to the Opium Restaurant, to access Dining in the Dark, you climb the set of stairs next to the Opium and make your way to the lounge area.
Straight away we’re welcomed by some friendly staff who briefly confirm our reservation and sit us down in the lounge area to guide us through the concept.
Table of Contents
Our Dining in the Dark KL Experience
Instead of any explanation, we’re given a mocktail and asked to guess what is inside. The hostess explains that this is our first test, to get our senses ready for the real Dining in the Dark experience.
Pin-pointing the ingredients in the mocktail was not as easy as it sounds. And it’s not like they used complicated ingredients. Such a simple experiment, which proved so interesting.
Next test – this time let’s play a little game. We’re given a bowl filled with raw rice and are told that inside this bowl of rice are paper clips. Whilst blindfolded, the aim of the game is to find 5 paper clips as quickly as possible before the rest. Andddd go!
Searching, and searching, and searching some more.
“Are you sure there are even paper clips in here?” I would ask.
“Found one!” one of our friend’s yelled. Pressure’s on!
“Yess found another one!” Ohhh goodness, our friend is on a roll, and I haven’t even found my first one.
Eventually after about 10-15 minutes, our friend wins the game. I did find 3 paper clips, but wow was that challenging. It really challenged our senses, which really put into perspective what was to come up during our Dining in the Dark KL experience.
It was almost time to go inside the dining room. “But before you can go inside, you must store all of your belongs,” our hostess explains.
She guides us to a locker area where we have to store all of our items. No phones, no cameras, no bags…nothing that could potentially disrupt the whole dining in the dark experience. “Ok, now you are ready to go inside. Your server AK will meet you shortly.”
Let Your Senses Guide Your Way
The moment was here. We were about to go inside. We had no idea what to expect except that it was going to be pitch black. We’ve bid farewell to our belongings and met our server.
AK was our server for the evening, and he is visually impaired. Originally from Kedah in Malaysia, AK has been working within Dining in the Dark KL for over 2 years and told us how much he loved the job.
Just before entering, AK explains that we need to form a ‘train’ line so it’d be easier to guide us to the table. We form our line, both hands on the shoulder of the person in front of us and in we went. AK further explains that it is best to keep both eyes closed during the experience so that it doesn’t overly strain our eyes.
We enter a small maze through curtains and eventually the light behind us escapes and it is pitch black.
No matter how much I tried …squint…anything that I thought would help to adjust my eyes…I just could not see anything.
As we are walking through the dining room, we hear all kinds of noises. From other guests dining, to servers making unique sounds to help them maneuver through the spaces. It was such a unique experience already and we hadn’t even started eating.
Not long after entering, we’re seated. AK guides each person to their seat and then begins to explain the table setting so we know where to find everything. We use our sense of touch to guide our way on the table.
As soon as we’re all seated, we all just started laughing because none of us had ever really experienced this before. It was just so amusing.
Eating in Darkness
The Dining in the Dark dinner comes with 4 courses – appetizer, soup, main course, and dessert. And each course offers a variety of dishes to make it all the more fun guessing what each dish could be.
The food begins to arrive and we all dig in.
The first challenge was to find out food and try not to spill! Thank goodness I wasn’t wearing white.
The second challenge was trying to figure out what I was eating. At first it was a bit of a scary experience not knowing what was on the plate, but at the end of the day, we just had to trust and experience.
Everyone on the table took turns trying to guess what we were eating, and every so often we’d hear someone take a big laugh because they either spilt something or couldn’t find something or simply were amused by the whole experience.
And even though we were eating in complete darkness, we never felt alone so it was never really scary. AK was fantastic in making sure we feeling comfortable, and we could hear other guests in there so it was great.
Overall the experience took around 90 minutes, and by the end we were full of food and laughter. One thing I absolutely loved about this experience was that there were no phones… which meant no distraction, just great conversations amongst friends.
We all laughed so much throughout dinner and exchanged all kinds of stories – we loved every moment of it. And time flew because we were truly having fun. By the end, AK guided us back to the front and bid us farewell. Shout out to AK who was absolutely fantastic!
Back in the light, our eyes had to re-adjust from pitch black to lights. The hostess sits us back down in the lounge area and shares with us a booklet which showcases the range of food that we ate this evening.
WOW – some of the dishes I totally did not pick. And it’s not because the ingredients were overly complicated. For instance – I have had avocado more times than I can count…yet on this evening I just could not pick it!
OMG yes I totally recommend Dining in the Dark Kuala Lumpur. It is such a fun experience, filled with so much laughter and intrigue.
The service was fantastic – the whole team were just so friendly, and we were so impressed by AK. The food was not bad, but really you’re going for a totally unique and interesting experience.
Dining in the Dark KL is open daily between 6pm – 9:30pm. You must book your Dining in the Dark Kuala Lumpur experience in advance and make full payment.
Loved this post? Pin it, it’s more fun!
No compensation was received for this review, this experience was independently paid for. All opinions remains my own and I only promote products/services that I love.
I loved that evening… I is a great experience to Meer someone with no reservation…
Thank for this experience…
Wait this is so cool! I’ve never heard of anything like this before. I’m not a big fan of the dark (not going to admit I’m still scared of the dark) but would absolutely try this!
Okay so if I ever go to Kuala Lumpur, I will visit this restaurant. Dining in the dark KL reminded me of the movie When in Rome.. The idea fascinates me and I am sure not gonna wear white on the day I eat here, probably not my fav dress as well. Nicely written about your experience.
Thanks for sharing this amazing experience. I went to something similar in Bangkok. It’s an amazing and very different experience. Your post gives all the details and the photos compliments the post. Thanks for the insight and one I will look forward to visiting if I’m Kl.
Ive heard about those restaurants before but I never went to one. Its seems like a great experience though! I like try different food so I would most likely enjoy it a lot ! Reading your post I only had one question. How did AK or other servers seen anything? Are they wearing some kind of special glasses or are they trained somehow to move in the darkness? Great post!
I had a similar experience with a blind fold dinner at one of the hotels in India. It was a fun and fantastic experience. Like you said, you let your senses guide you. Somehow the food tastes even more amazing when you don;t see it. Or maybe it is just the experience of getting it right in your mouth 😉 Nice read!
I always wanted to try this out. Just one time, to see what kind of experience it was. We have one of these places here in San Francisco, but I just haven’t gotten around to go. After reading about your good experience, I twill totally have to go test this place out.
I never knew the Dining in dark concept but it looks fun and I would surely go for it when in Kuala Lumpur. It is good that they don’t allow any belongings even phone inside. In darkness, we can actually feel and smell the food which we cannot do while seeing. Thanks for sharing!
They have a similar one in London with visually impaired waiters and waitresses, which I have been wanting to go too but just not gotten there yet. I would be so scared of dropping food all over myself. I love that you have to rely on your senses and that you couldn’t guess some of the foods. I am so glad that you recommend it I am definitely going to look into going sooner rather than later.
This is a very interested concept. Such a restaurant recently opened up in India too. I hope to go there and experience food in a new way soon.
I have never eaten in dark or with my eyes closed. I can’t imagine how the experience would be….
But it is necessary I guess, esp in this world where smartphones make their way into dining tables!