The blind leading the blind
When researching Thailand’s best restaurants, I discovered Dine in the Dark, a completely unique culinary experience where, yes, you dine in complete darkness. My curiosity was piqued – I had to try it for myself. I arrived and they gave me an apron (it’s easy to spill when you can’t see what you’re eating!), asked me to turn off all electronics that could give off light, and introduced me to my guide for the evening, Noi. All of the guides at the restaurant are visually impaired, and a portion of the restaurant’s proceeds are donated to the Thailand Foundation for the Blind. This was the most moving part of the experience - briefly experiencing the challenges of life without sight. To be honest, upon entering the completely dark room I was a little nervous, but my sweet guide Noi placed my hands on her shoulders, told me where to walk, where to sit, and showed my where everything was on the table. The blind leading the blind, literally. I chose the chef’s choice menu, so I had to rely solely on my taste buds to identify what I was eating. Noi brought out each dish and asked me what I thought I was eating – the flavors really came alive in my mouth and I had a ton of fun guessing everything on my plate. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to go with a friend (I was traveling alone at this point). I love dining alone, but usually have the option to people watch or read a book, none of which is possible in a pitch black restaurant (haha). But, it was good! I talked to Noi when she wasn’t guiding other tables through the experience, savored my meal, and sat completely alone with my thoughts. The flavors were definitely amplified – with the lack of vision, I was more in tune with my sense of taste. At the end of the meal, they showed me pictures of the dishes I had eaten – I had guessed almost everything correctly! Dine in the Dark was a very unique sensory experience that I will never forget.