DINNER IN THE DARK is a unique dining experience held in complete darkness. It’s organized and served by blind people to raise awareness of what it’s like to not have your sense of sight.
I’ve always wondered how the experience of eating in a sea of darkness would feel, with no gadgets and other visual distractions.
Here’s our first ever Dinner in the Dark experience…
Mit Somaiya of Dialogue Social Enterprise explains the DIALOGUE IN THE DARK Program, which consists of an Exhibition or immersion into the life of a blind person, Corporate Leadership Workshops in the dark, and the Dinner in the Dark.
The Pop-up Dinner in the Dark sessions were conducted as part of the first Dialogue in the Dark Immersion Week in Manila, held at the Asian Institute of Management in partnership with Ashoka Foundation and Co.Lab.
You have to surrender your glasses and all light emitting gadgets — mobile phone, camera, and glow-in-the-dark watches and accessories.
You enter a room in total darkness, with only the voice of your blind guide to lead you to your table.
First course was soup. Our guide oriented us on the cutleries on our table. You had to feel through each one to find the soup spoon. It also took some courage to try the unknown liquid before us.
The soup was in a coconut container (I could feel the hairy “bowl”) set on top of a rock. It was chicken with coconut soup, also known as binakol.
Second course was a salad. By this time, your sense of touch, hearing, and smell are all heightened. You couldn’t help but smell the server, pay closer attention to the conversation, and use not just your fork but also your hands to eat the salad.
You felt more present to enjoy the sour-sweet taste of the green mango and the crunchy shrimp okoy on top of the salad. Drinking water was also a bit of a challenge since you had to find the pitcher at the center of the table and made sure you didn’t spill it.
Third course was the main course. This was a humbling experience because you had to eat the first thing you hit with your fork. You couldn’t mix and match the food…you’ll usually end up eating just rice, just fish, or just vegetables.
But you also start appreciating the other details more such as the shape of the plate and the texture of the food. Plus you get to listen to every slurp and burp around you.
At this point, you can order a second serving of your favorite course — soup, salad, or main course.
Fourth course was dessert, which was a trio sampler and the best among the courses. One of the items was in a glass with lemon sorbet, another was a chocolate cake, and the last was leche flan in an egg shell.
Someone was brave enough to go first, bit into the egg shell, and lived to warn the rest of the group about it.
The revelation of the dishes was awesome! They’re all yummy and well-presented, with different heights and textures as if served in Raintree’s M Cafe.
Congratulations to Raintree and Chef Kalel for a yummy 4-course meal! I’m glad to know that Dining in the Dark does not mean compromising in taste, flavor, and presentation. 🙂
In fact, it was very empowering to pay more attention to the food instead of being distracted by taking pictures of how it was presented.
In the dark, you lose track of the time. I couldn’t believe that the two hours passed by so fast. I felt more attuned to my sense of touch, hearing, and smell. A humbling, empowering, and enlightening experience that I highly recommend for everybody. 🙂
It’s an interesting way to meet new people and a unique venue for a blind date. It’s also a great opportunity for a couple’s date with all that darkness around you. Just make sure you smell good, bring wet towels to clean your hands, and go to the toilet before you start.
Thank you to our Dinner in the Dark group for the awesome conversations and for making the first ever Dinner in the Dark in Manila a memorable experience. Thank you as well to our blind guides for organizing and making this awesome event happen!
Don’t miss the remaining Dinner in the Dark immersions this week at the Asian Institute of Management.
DINNER IN THE DARK
Experience a gastronomical delight in the dark. As an add-on, “Dinner in the Dark” serves three or four course dinner, which is organized and served by blind people in complete darkness.
August 1 to 2, 2014 (4 Course P1,999/head/session) Food by Raintree’s Chef Kalel
August 3 to 6, 2014 (3 Course P1,700/head/session) Food by AIM
Venue: Asian Institue of Management
Eugenio Lopez Foundation Building
123 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 1260, Metro Manila
Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm
For inquiries and registration, please contact:
Alvin M. Silva, Program Manager
Nyssa Bernal, Program & Marketing coordinator
Phone: +632 892-4011 x 1604
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We paid for our meal. Thanks to my friend Hershey. 🙂 Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. The event is part of the preview of the “Dialogue in the Dark” Exhibit that they’re planning to put up in Manila. It’s an interactive exhibit to experience the day in the life of a blind person in complete darkness.
They are looking for sponsors, investors, and a venue to host the 10,000 sq. ft. exhibition area in Manila, with an estimated investment of P15M. For interested parties, please contact Mit Somaiya at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 thoughts on “DINNER IN THE DARK in Manila! @AIMBSchool by @Ashoka x @CoLab”
Thank you for writing about your experience, Anton! I hope you don’t mind that I grabbed our group photo 🙂
Yeah that would be OK 🙂 Thanks!
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