Dans le Noir? is a dining experience like no other. Based on a concept initially devised and introduced in Paris, the basic premise is simple - you eat in a room that is totally pitch black.
The evening started at the (fully-lit) foyer area where we choose our meal from four set options - 2 or 3 courses from the Red (for meat eaters), Blue (for fish and seafood lovers), Green (for vegetarians) or White (chef’s surprise) menus. All light-emitting devices were then confiscated, and stored in one of the lockers out front.
Our group of nine, assembled to bid a fond farewell to a dear friend who was leaving the country for good, were then told to form a line, before being led by our partially-sighted waiter, single-file, hand on the shoulder of the person in front, into the darkness.
I’m not going to describe every minute detail of our evening, as a large part of the experience is the element of discovery and unknown, and I don't want to spoil that for you, but suffice to say that there was some spilling of water onto my jeans when trying to fill my glass (although some would, quite correctly, point out that I do that anyway even when the room is fully lit), some wildly off-target guesses at what was on my plate, a lot of biting at air having failed to pick anything up with my fork, and all-in-all, a very interesting, surreal and memorable experience.
We were told what we had to eat after, and I believe they change their menu fairly infrequently, so I won’t go through all the dishes here as I ordinarily would. But one thing I will say is that if you have an aversion to "exotic" meats, steer clear of the White menu!
In a nutshell...
The food, whilst not amazing, was certainly of a very reasonable standard. But let's face it, people don't come here for the food, they come for the Dans le Noir? (literally meaning “in the dark”) experience, and it was certainly an intriguing one. I have decided against giving my usual rating out of 10 because this is a truly unique, one-of-a-kind place for which there is no comparison. It does, however, come with my recommendation as a very worthwhile experience.
Dans le Noir?
30-31 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DU
Average Price: £45