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Live the Dark Dining Experience in Beijing

  • 04
  • 05
  • 2016

Have you ever played the food game where someone tells you to close your eyes, open your mouth and guess the flavor? It’s fun because humans are drawn to mystery even if it makes us cringe.

That simple concept has been taken to great proportions, so much so that it has become the main theme of many restaurants around the world, including in Asia.

In Beijing, the Whale Belly Dark Restaurant makes diners eat in a pitch-black environment, where the only ones allowed to see are the waiters who are equipped with military-grade night vision goggles.

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The restaurant has taken everything into account to optimize the experience. All shiny objects such as watches, jewelry and cellphones are forbidden and put into safe lockers.

But this restaurant in Beijing is not the only one adopting this amusing theme. Hong Kong, Bangkok, Seoul and Indonesia have also embraced the ‘dark-dining’ experience.

In fact, the concept was born in Zurich, Switzerland, where the first diner opened in 1999 under the name BlindeKuh (Blind Cow). It was the world’s first restaurant with blind waiting staff.

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The purpose was to create job opportunities for the visually impaired. Jorge Spielmann, owner of Blind Cow, had a major success with the concept as he opened a second establishment. Subsequently, the idea spread through Europe and around the world.

One would think there wouldn’t be many benefits to dining in the dark, but they come to be quite obvious once you go through the experience.

No more worries about your facial expressions when eating that tough piece of meat. No concern about having something green stuck in your teeth. Not to mention, the heightened sense of touch and flavor are greatly noticeable.

This is probably the new culinary experience you’ve been looking for.

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