Yes, it’s a gimmick – having a meal in total darkness without knowing what’s going into your mouth. But once you give in to the experience of dining in the dark, dinner at NOX proves to be a fun and enlightening rollercoaster ride – one that’s worth the $88 (for a prix fixe three-course meal comprising four dishes each) you’re about to part with.
At this reservations-recommended (walk-ins are welcomed as well), two-storey shophouse restaurant on the eclectic Club Street, you start at the fully-lit downstairs bar, where you’re served an amuse bouche and given the option of trying one of their curated cocktails designed by Sam Wong – Diageo World Class 2019 Finalist and Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall fame.
From there, deposit your belongings in a locker and with hands firmly on the shoulders of your polite, blind or visually-impaired waiter (specially hired and trained by the restaurant), make your way slowly up into the 40-seat upstairs dining room.
Our advice is to tune out the soft background music, plus the shenanigans and guffaws of your fellow diners, and just focus your naturally heightened senses of taste and smell on the food without spoiling the surprise, it’s for the most part delicious – you’ll get a full range of dishes to taste, many of which are designed to have contrasting flavours. Afterwards, back in the welcome light of the bar, you’re given a questionnaire to fill out to try and come to terms with what you’ve eaten before they reveal the pictures and menu.
It’s worth trying as a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience – savouring food in a different light (or lack thereof; the challenging bit’s trying to paint a mental image of the dishes). Highly recommended.