One of the newest trends in dining is to eat at a Blind Restaurant. Yes, a blind restaurant where you eat in the dark as if you were blind. There are a few around the world which include Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, London, and one in Korea. With one in Seoul of the Kongdae area by Konkuk University, it is a popular spot for couples to attend for a new style of dating, but it is recommended for all to experience in order to heighten their senses. As a expat teaching English in Korea, I decided to give it a try.
The restaurant is known for the experience to dine in the dark, but it is also known as the restaurant of tears. Why? The restaurant provides you with the opportunity to write a letter and read it before the end of your dinner. It is a great surprise to those who are dining with you. Most of the time, these letters are those of love, apologies, and expressing yourself in ways that you were not able to before. I definitely recommend doing this without letting the others know. It may be at little creepy at first if you are laughing up a storm with your friends and all of a sudden you hear this voice that starts to talk. You'll know when it's coming though because they change up the music to some slow jams so it gives you some time to give your friends a heads up that someone will speak. Unfortunately for my group of friends, we were too wrapped up in chatter that I couldn't warn them ahead of time.
In regards to the dinner, it consists of two different courses, a silver (chicken) and gold (beef) which differs in price. It is a four course dinner with a salad, appetizer, main course, and a dessert. The food was absolutely delicious which I did not expect since I thought we would be paying for the experience instead. Each week consists of a different theme. The one I experienced was a space theme where you are "blasted off to space" for your dinner with music in the background. There is a selection of music that plays throughout your dinner so you are not constantly listening to space music or eating in the complete silence. Nonetheless, if you go with a group of people, you will probably chat up a storm that the other tables can hear you so the music is a good call.
So how does this happen? When entering the restaurant, you are situated in a dimly lit room before lead into the dark room where you consume your dinner. After given the basic guidelines and instructions, you are then to line up and walk in a straight line lead by a staff with night goggles. They test your sense of touch before bringing you into the dinner room, and you are then sat down with a plated salad to start the meal. It is a perfect way to bond over conversation with your friends or your other half. Over an hour and a half dinner, you are given a pen and paper to write a note in the dark. It's definitely funny to see what you wrote after! For writing in the dark, I think I did a pretty good job.
Dining with a handful of good friends, this experience was definitely memorable. It was quite a challenge to eat in the dark without making a full mess or having to eat off of the plate, but we did a good job cleaning our plate as claimed by our waiter. The best part of the dinner is being able to share laughs and tears with my girls. I recommend it as something to do once in your life and test your dark dining skills!
Check out Cindy’s blog to get a glimpse of what Korea has to offer!