My lovely fiancé Yil surprised me last night with a dinner reservation at a restaurant in Melbourne (Oz) called The Dark Side of 604!
The night started off quite normally, with a quick latte and a peruse of the menu, followed by our order being taken. What followed was one of the most surreal dining experiences I have ever…well…experienced.
We were led to another part of the restaurant where our waiter for night, Alex, met us wearing night-vision goggles. I was asked to put my hands on his shoulders, and Yils hands on my shoulders, and we were led, congo-line style, to our table which was in a room that was pitch black. There were absolutely no light sources whatsoever in the room, so your eyes could not adjust, and to put it in context, you couldn’t even see your own hand in front of your fact (trust me, I tried).
The only indication that there was someone else in the room was when Alex entered to bring us our meals, the little red LED dancing around in the stark darkness. I really started to appreciate how much I took my sight for granted, not having any capacity to create spatial references was frustrating to say the least. At the end, I just rolled up my sleeves and attacked my roast lamb like it was fresh prey. What was more amazing though was the change in my senses, everything seemed more vibrant; the taste, texture and smell.
Slowly, over the course of the night, the room started to fill with other patrons, and it was remarkable to observe peoples reactions to being completely in the dark. Listening to some peoples conversations was intriguing; you could almost see them struggling to compensate for being completely invisible, grappling with verbal communication in the absence of the standard visual mechanisms.
Anyway, for those who get the chance, I highly recommend the experience. It’s not only extremely confronting, absurd and exciting, it’s also alot of fun, and the food was great to boot.