Dans Le Noir?

Restaurants Clerkenwell
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(9 user reviews)
3 Love It
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Dans Le Noir?

A slightly daunting dining experience that aims to encourage participants to re-evaluate their approach to eating. At Dans le Noir? you eat in complete darkness, so it’s the taste, smell and texture of the food on which you focus. Before being led into the pitch-black basement dining room by the restaurant’s blind guides/waiters, you select one of four colour-coded mystery menus: red (meat), blue (fish), green (vegetarian) and white (chef’s special). It’s a profoundly sensory food adventure that makes for a unique evening. 

Venue name: Dans Le Noir?
Contact:
Address: 30-31 Clerkenwell Green
London
EC1R 0DU
Opening hours: Lunch served by appointment. Dinner served (fixed sittings) 6.30-7.30pm, 9-9.30pm Mon-Thur, 6.30-7.15pm, 9.15-10pm Fri, Sat; 6.45-8pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Farringdon tube/rail
Price: Set dinner £42 2 courses; £51 3 courses
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|9
1 person listening
Elisa R
Tastemaker

After almost to years of pestering my boyfriend to take me to Dans le Noir for my birthday/our anniversary/any occasion at all really, it finally happened this week for my 25th. I expected it to be great and...

Love:

- The staff was adorable. Some might ask how the waiters manage to navigate through the pitch-black room. The answer is simple: they are blind. Our waiter, Trevor, was extremely helpful and attentive.

- The mystery of eating, chatting and eating in the dark was a highly enjoyable and liberating experience: you realise a lot of things about yourself such as the fact that people tend to keep their eyes open throughout even though nothing can be seen at all, you get to eat mashed potato with your hands (which I LOVED) - the people controlling the CCTV must have enjoyed seeing me licking my hands like a disgusting pig, and you learn how to poor wine/water with a finger inside the glass to prevent it from spilling out.

- The food was the big question mark. I didn't know if it was going to be tasty or if we were just going to pay for the experience. You only get to choose whether you want a meat, fish, vegetarian or exotic menu but don't know exactly what you're eating until they tell you at the end of the meal. It was actually delicious! My boyfriend had the meat menu - the starter some sort of cream beef Bourguignon - and I the exotic one - mix of fish and meat - and we were both 100% satisfied.

Hate:

- It is EXTREMELY expensive as far as I'm concerned, £50 being the 'cheap', two-course menu, without drinks. It gets way more expensive from there. So, I would definitely advise you to visit for a big occasion.

- The room is very noisy. And I went on a Tuesday so it must not have even been full so Saturdays must super loud.

Adrian H
Tastemaker

This was an experience that I normally wouldn't go for. Having been invited by friends of my partner, we had little room to decline and I am very glad we didn't.


The experience is like no other I have had before. You are asked to choose a 'cuisine' for the evening from vegetarian, meat, and exotic meats, before being led to the entrance of the 'dark room'. Here you are introduced to your blind waiter/waitress, who will be serving you your food in the dark. A quick description of the events to follow explained that each course would consist of 3 elements and you had to try and work out what you were eating before the big reveal after your meal.


Although you are given a knife and folk, all our group resorted to using our hands after a few unsuccessful attempts to be civilised. We just hope there wasn't any night-vision CCTV as some of the elements of the courses involved mushy food, such as mashed potato. We must have looked like animals!!


The reason for the 3 stars from me were the amount of people using their phones and ruining the 'darkness' for everyone, the size of the portions, and the overall cost of the meal. I would recommend it for a one off but I won't be going back again.

Hollibakes
Tastemaker

As most people say, you eat with your eyes, so losing my sight for an evening wasn't a decision I was going to take lightly! Having said that though, I'm very pleased I did. I wouldn't say that my tastebuds were stimulated any more by the food I was eating because it was in the dark, but it was a good experience. It's not the cheapest of places, so definitely somewhere you'd go once to tick off your 'weird and wonderful restaurants in London' check list.


Also, I couldn't tell (because I couldn't see) but the portion sizes felt very small. I could've, however, just knocked all the food off my plate and onto the table... Who knows! You're packed in pretty tight too, so make sure you pick a good neighbour from your group!


Barce yourself when you come back out to the light too - it's awfully bright, and your eyes will probably feel like you're staring at the sun for a couple of minutes before they readjust. My main tip - take some form of bib so you don't spill the food all down yourself, especially if you plan to go out raving in Fabric in Farringdon afterwards! 

Annabel-Zoe
Tastemaker

Rarely would I be willing to give up one of my senses for the evening, but with the promise of heightened smell, taste, touch and sound to compensate, I overlooked their chaotic website and made a Saturday night reservation. We grabbed drinks in the lit lounge before our waitress took us to our seats in the restaurant (...the size of which you will never know) and it was quick service to the table. I went for the chef's surprise (white) menu and there was a range of different meats and seafood textures to guess like ham hock terrine. The food was pleasant, but perhaps not reflective of the slightly steeper price.


At first being in the pitch black was quite uncomfortable and I had to suppress my constant need to find a light switch but, guessing the courses, attempting to use cutlery and learning to pour and not spill drinks took over. Unfortunately, the whole evening was dampened by our waitress, who was openly rushing us through our courses. It felt busy and we were requested to finish our drinks back in the lit lounge as soon as dessert plates were cleared.  Altogether we were sat eating for under an hour and left feeling very disappointed by the service. Perhaps it was a busy Saturday and a weeknight might be different, but it seemed to have overbooked the evening and for that reason I won't be returning or recommending this restaurant.

Charly Lester
Staff Writer

I love the concept, and think it's something every Londoner should try at least once.  I went here as a surprise on a blind date the first time, and was swept off my feet.  Such an awesome surprise.  If you like adventure and surprises, and being put out of your comfort zone, then this is for you.  I would recommend it as a different date night with your partner, or for a birthday party with a difference.  Definitely chat to your guide for the night - all the blind waiters have interesting stories to tell, and are incredible at what they do.  Go for the white menu if you're feeling particularly brave!


Charly Lester, Time Out Head of Dating


Here's a review I wrote of my first date there - http://30datesblog.com/2013/08/10/date-twelve-the-enigma/

Dupont D

Very good experience!

Everyone must Go

Very good place on london

Staff, food, experience was incredible

Laura 97

Terrible do not go this is a total waste of money! I agree that it is about the experience but the food should be at least edible.

Stephanie

The most fantactic restaurant experience I had in town ! Everyone must go ! Food is really ok. But the most important is not the food ... at least something really new !

Butterfly Carnivore

I always wanted to try this place. So glad I did. The pre-dinner drinks in the lit lounge bar area was nice and the hostess was fun, vibrant and enthusiastic encouraging you (but not forcing) to experiment with your choices, knowing that this is a one-off experience. Once in the darkness (and it truly is pitch black!) guided by your blind waiter, to your table, the babble of diners all around you and yet visuals are down to nothing is an unnerving sensation. Once seated across from your partner (in my case) you realise that you are seated next to others quite closely. This must be to ensure that the waiters can find you according to your orders etc. The experience really enhances your senses and you rely so much more on your tastebuds and touch. By the way, it can get a little messy. The do encourage you to use your food, but the moment I felt a gloopy sauce, I grabbed for my knife and fork in the darkness as that was too much finger-food for my liking! I whole-heartedly recommend going, it is a brilliant idea and a true experience that truly makes you appreciate the whole dining-out event. The dessert is TO DIE FOR! The waiters must be situated very close to you as whenever I called out for my waiter, he was there which is good! When you finally are brought out into the light at the end of your meal, the hostess greets you again and asks you to guess what you thought you ate and then shows you photographs of what they were. Nothing squeamish but fascinating! You really should go!