top of page
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
Dans Le Noir – Review
FOOD

Dans Le Noir – Review

Dans Le Noir on St John Street in Clerkenwell, is the British branch of the French concept whose name gives a strong indication of what to expect once inside. Translated as ‘In the Dark’, the restaurant invites diners to eat in complete darkness. Often voted as one of the 10 most original restaurants in the world, the first restaurant of the chain was opened in Paris to raise awareness of disability and visual disabilities in particular. The idea being that removing one of the key senses would lead to a true sensory experience, heightening our sense of taste and smell. Served by blind and visually impaired employees, diners enjoy a set menu of quite excellent food with their sight completely removed.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by the hostess who respectfully relieves you of all your modern day flashing and noise inducing devices, and stores them safely in a locker. The slightest twinkle of light would be detrimental to the experience. At the bar area we choose our menu, the options being vegan,  pescatarian or meat, but you don’t get to see the dishes, this would ruin what would become the guessing game later on as you get to discover and experience different flavours and textures.

Once chosen, You are guided into the completely blacked-out dining area by a blind or partially sighted staff member, at which point you feel completely vulnerable as you put your faith in a complete stranger to get you to your seat without bumping into anything or anyone.

Once seated, you start to come to terms with the fact that your eyes are no longer of use, all other senses start to kick in. All of a sudden you can hear the conversations of dinners nearby, and across the room for that matter. It was pretty loud due to a few groups we had been seated next to, by the sounds of their laughter they were having a great time. We fumbled to get our hands on the water jug on our table and not pour the water on the floor.

As the first course arrives, our hands clumsily grope around in the dark for our cutlery and we eagerly albeit, gingerly try to figure out what we are eating, relying on the familiar textures and flavours. As my dining partner and I chose different menus, our first question for each course was “what have you got?”  It’s an unparalleled sensory experience, forcing you to focus on the taste, smell and texture of each mouthful you eat.

I had suggested that we share the dessert but after a moment of imagining passing a dessert across a table laden with drinks,  we quickly turned our backs on that idea. The feeling of vulnerability stays with us throughout, but it is so powerful to be taken out of your comfort zone and experience eating without your sight.

Most of the reviews we do, we like to talk about the dishes, but at Dans Le Noir, half the fun is trying to guess what you are eating, so we will leave the guessing to you. One thing we will say is that you get the option at the end to view the menu and the dishes you have just eaten. Go and see if you were correct.

Address: 69-73 St John St, London EC1M 4AN

  1. Price range: £48 to £100pp

  2. Times: Tuesday to Friday, first seating 5pm, last seating 9:30pm / Saturday and Sunday lunch from 12 noon to 3pm and evening from 5pm to 9:30pm

Written by Nyla S.

Photography courtesy of Dans Le Noir

#clerkenwell #danslenoir #unusualexperience

House of Ming - Review
FOOD

House of Ming - Review

Wagamama launches a brunch menu
FOOD

Wagamama launches a brunch menu

Dhakaah is coming to Hawley Wharf market in Camden this month
FOOD

Dhakaah is coming to Hawley Wharf market in Camden this month

A Delightful Feast at Macellaio - Review
FOOD

A Delightful Feast at Macellaio - Review

You may also like...

You may also like...

FOOD

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

FOOD

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

FOOD

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

FOOD

A guide to St. Christopher’s Place

bottom of page