Dinner in the Dark

Cool Sh*t, Travel / 11 February 2015

If you’re heading to Berlin any time soon be sure to check out Unsicht Bar, (Unsight Bar) where you voluntarily relinquish one of your main senses during a unique dining experience. Dinner in the dark is not for everyone, but for those with a sense of culinary adventure be prepared for a whole new way of dining. Each surprising mouthful will leave you baffled, guessing and wanting more.

Upon arrival you’ll be taken to a dimly lit foyer where you can leave your coat, decide on your meal and enjoy a drink before your experience begins. You have a choice of theme for your three course meal, vegetarian, beef, chicken, river and sea or surprise. Each menu is an adventure unto itself. 

Then you will meet your personal waiter and guide. Being blind or visually impaired, they are completely at home in the dark.

With your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you and their hands on the blind waiter in front of them, you transition from a dimly lit room into total darkness.

Without sight, your other senses are heightened and you rely on touch to navigate your plate, taste to distinguish between flavours and smell for the individual aromas.

Here’s what happened next during my dinner in the dark experience:

Entrée. I was excited and anxious all at once. The smell of fish was unmistakable, but what kind of fish? What does shark taste like, would I be able to pick it? I’m told later it was salmon but without sight, its distinctive colour and shape became unrecognisable. I was taken aback at the inability to identify a fish I eat regularly.

Main. I knew it was some sort of meat. Using my figures it felt like the shape of an eggplant, with a bouncy texture. I sat in silence and my mind ran wild. Was it even meat? Or a field mushroom? I was getting frustrated. Turns out it was lamb with sautéed vegetables. This is harder than you think.

Dessert. A considerably easier task with more distinctive flavours and textures. Chocolate tastes like chocolate and thank goodness for that. In the centre of my plate was a glass of mousse-like parfait infused with the unique taste of Jagermeister. Picked it in one!

There are two strict rules at Unsicht Bar. 1)  Light of any kind (lighters, cigarettes, cell phones, lit watches) are forbidden in the dark. 2) You’re not allowed to get up and move around the restaurant by yourself – you may get hurt or disrupt the service personnel. Should you wish to leave the restaurant you are to notify your waiter and they will escort you out.

I obeyed both rules and had an amazing dinner. This truly is a sensory experience that will leave you somewhat confused but full and curious to try it all over again.

Website: Unsicht Bar Berlin