Yay! I finally made it to O.Noir after I've heard so much about the place and the experience. When O.Noir had a Groupon deal, I seized the chance to try out Dining in the Dark.
The entrance to the restaurant looks like a secret entrance to an underground tunnel or subway. I might not have noticed it if I wasn't actively looking for it.
Once we descended the stairs, we found directions to our destination:
With a dark dungeon-like feel and a long corridor to walk down to the main hostess desk, we found the environment rather appropriate and a little spooky (which totally suited the theme of the unknown).
We arrived in the dimly lit main room where we ordered our meals:
My first course:
Literally, I ordered the surprise appetizer and from what I could identify...
The first thing I found on my plate was a hard, wrinkly and sweet dried apricot. I love apricots, so it wasn't an issue for me identifying it right away. The next thing I ate was harder because it was a mushy, almost bland-tasting object which I was pretty sure was avocado (and I eventually confirmed it with our waiter Nasir). Then I tasted the tomatoes and the balsamic and olive oil and pieced it all together as a salad.
I found the ingredients were random, but I think the combination was more about playing with the textures and tastes.
The first thing I chased around my plate was a grainy textured piece of meat. It took me a while to place it because the texture was so similar to ground beef and yet, I could see it being pork too. It also didn't help since it was also seasoned well (if a little salty), but I eventually concluded that it was Salisbury steak (made with ground beef). Then there were two sides of mashed potatoes and green beans.
Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream
After the first two surprises, I wanted to be sure of the dessert so I ordered off the menu.
The chocolate cake was a little dry, but there was a lot of icing and vanilla ice cream to make up for that. The vanilla ice cream was in a separate bowl which made it easier than the cake. For some reason, eating cake with a spoon in the dark is really hard...I can't tell you how many times I thought I scooped up a chunk of cake only to eat my spoon instead.
Overall: There's something freeing about eating and chatting in the dark. It was actually so much fun guessing what I was eating because all of your other senses become heightened when you lose one sense (in this case sight). The food was okay, but it was definitely more about the experience.