We were blessed to be part of the VIP preview launch of Noche: Dine in the Dark Manila. It was truly special as we know that we were dining with a cause.
So, how was the experience? Read on to find out. Or if you’re lazy to read, scroll below as we made a short video of it.
Noche: Dine in the Dark Manila isn’t a permanent establishment. It’s basically a unique dining event held on weekends. It is headed by business partners, Ms. Katrina Lacap and Ms. Tasha Reyes, and in partnership with Resources for the Blind Inc. for the staff in the dining area. Meanwhile, the food is sourced from Granvia Café located at the 4th floor of the A. Venue Suites Hotel so the waiting area is also there.
While waiting, Noche’s staff goes around to check if the visitor has arrived. They also double check whether the menu chosen and the dieatary restrictions or allergies specified are correct. It is being done as they highly value the preference of visitors as well as their safety.
The visitors are kept entertained with a message to decode in Braille alphabet. Of course, they give out a card with the Braille alphabet to aid in deciphering the message. It’s also a fun way to learn a bit on how to read Braille.
During our Noche experience, we waited for everyone to arrive after which we were escorted upstairs by batch for the orientation.
Do’s and dont’s were mentioned. Some of it were the following:
- DO leave our belongings including especially a device that emits light in their baggage area.
- DO keep our voices in a normal tone because, according to them, our voices may overcompensate for the lack of sight.
- DON’T stand up and explore the dining area on our own as something bad may happen to us like tripping or falling down.
- DON’T hesitate to call the assigned waiter or “darkness expert” for what we need such as water or if we need to go to the restroom.
They also offered aprons and disposable gloves to be worn. However, they encourage guests to opt out of it for a fully immersive experience.
A clock system was also introduced to us to help us eat. We just had to remember it so it’s more manageable to eat without seeing anything.
After the quick orientation and leaving our belongings in their secured baggage area, we held on to our “darkness expert,” Ate Carla, as we entered through three layers of black curtain to get to the pitch black dark dining area. Yes, we weren’t asked to wear a blindfold so we didn’t experience any discomfort.
We dined in absolute darkness with the respective categories we chose. Part of the fun was that we tried to figure out the delicious food that we were eating.
The mystery menu of our chosen category was only revealed after dining in the darkness. We were amazed with the culinary creations of Executive Chef Leonald Briones. He added a lot of textures and flavors that eating the dishes were such a delightful experience in itself.
Don’t expect a photo of the food we ate anymore because we don’t want to spoil the surprise. All you have to know is that you can pick from four categories of their mystery menu – Fish, Meat, Vegetarian and the Chef’s Surprise (for those with adventurous taste buds).
Noche is Reasonable
Noche: Dine in the Dark Manila is reasonably priced as the offered food is not something you get to eat everyday. And, what we stated before which was 5 reasons why we should dine in the dark held true more than ever. We had a memorable experience as we had heightened senses and a long talk, while trying to figure out what we were eating. Best of all, we felt more appreciative of our sense of sight that we sometimes take for granted and we also felt concern for our fellow Filipinos who are visually impaired.
Noche: Dine in the Dark Manila
The A.Venue Suites Hotel, 7829 Makati Ave., 1200 Makati City.
Operating Hours: 6:00PM & 8:00PM (every Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting October 14, 2016)