Dans Le Noir ? promises a different experience to traditional style dining, the dishes are served in pitch dark for guests to challenge their other senses.

Located a short walk from Farringdon station Dans Le Noir ? has been serving the dishes in darkness since 2006.

It’s quite discrete and easy to miss since from the outside it doesn’t have the obvious restaurant decor of people dining behind the large windows.

On arrival all guests are welcomed and offered a drink in the light, but as we are hungry we decide to not persevere and head straight to the dining area.

For safety and to be fully immersed into the experience all your items are safely put in a locker including mobile phones, so no peaking even if we wanted to.

Dans Le Noir ? concept is simple, you don’t choose what you’re going to enjoy in the dark, you just tell the team what you can’t eat and they adapt the menu so that your experience is complete and safe.

The visitors are guided and served in a pitch-black dining room by visually impaired servers.

Our evening meal that evening is a three-course with wine pairing. And I’m slightly anxious wondering how I’ll get on eating it with a knife and folk. 

While my guest is very relaxed, joking about table etiquette and pointing out that we should have worn black clothing as the food is bound to fall off the folk at some point.

Both very reasonable comments. I’m in a salad green dress, so that advice would have been more valuable a little bit earlier.

We find our bearings around the table, it’s pretty standard, napkin in the middle with cutlery and water by the side. We are served white wine and the starter promptly.

The wine is given to each guest in hand while the dish is placed in front. Surprisingly, the cups are glass and not plastic, leaves me to wonder how they clean up if a guest accidentally knocks it over.

We start guessing on the starter. The menu is kept a secret and only shared once you come out. Dans Le Noir ? is introducing spring menu soon hence I won’t spoil it here if I share the current dishes.

We identify some vegetable puree like dots, possibly carrots with something crispy on top. My guest is convinced it’s seaweed while I’m hesitant to agree as it lacks that sea iodine flavour.

The meat we completely fail to guess, we totter from gammon to ham as it’s quite meaty but then debate why it’s paired with a light and crisp white wine.

At the end we are told it’s tuna steak with deep fried kale crisps, something as a tuna fan I was astonished to learn but then I’m more accustomed to tuna in sushi or tuna tartare rather than cooked versions.

The main is far more clear, very tender melt in the mouth beef slices with a generous coverage of a sauce, I thought it was chicory or anise based, resembling the famous L’Entrecôte steak sauce just a little lighter and more spring like.

We later find out it was tarragon. Well at least we are certain about the side dish, it definitely contains a potato perhaps dauphinoise potatoes. 

It’s nearly the end of the main or so I think, still going strong and proud with the fork and knife before discovering there is a large portion left on the plate.

A little discouraging, perhaps I’m not as good at navigating in the dark as I thought. While my guest admits by now he’s only using his hands.

By dessert time we’re full but we still try it, it appears to be raspberry cream puffs with burnt sugar crisps and dark chocolate shards.

I enjoy the sugar shards and quality dark chocolate that compliment the fruity cream well, the flavour of the cream on the other hand is a little different though, not very cream rich.

The menu later reveals it’s vegan, not that I have anything against vegan dishes but if I knew I would have opted for a proper cream based one or a fruit sorbet to play on the plant based side.

To conclude it was a fun experience, it cuts down on creative presentation so I can’t comment on that, although I’m sure the dishes looked smart.

Here is when I mention all the pictures are courtesy of Dans Le Noir ? because as mentioned already phones are taken away before the dine.

The dining experience at Dans Le Noir ? certainly challenges other senses such as taste and smell, completely stripping away the visual part. I think everyone should visit it at least once.

Dans le Noir ? London Restaurant, 69-73 St John St, London EC1M 4NJ