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Restaurant Review: Dark Table Vancouver

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I have one word to sum up my experience at Dark Table – Amazing. I have recommended it over and over again to anyone who has asked me about it since I went last week. Dark Table isn’t your traditional dining experience – Here’s a little background information from their website:

“Already a hit in major cities like London, Paris, New York, L.A. and Montreal, blind dining is finally coming to Vancouver, offering a unique opportunity to experience dining in a whole new way—in the dark. An evening at Dark table will take you on a culinary journey through uncharted territory, where the familiar—food, drink and friends—becomes a wonder to be explored and discovered, as if for the first time. Without the sense of sight, the senses of touch, taste, hearing and smell are intensified, allowing a new perception of reality.”

When we first arrived, we were directed to the seating area outside to decide what we would like from the two or three-course menu. The appetizer on the menu is always a surprise dish.  This adds to the fun of eating in the dark is guessing what you’re actually eating. For entrees, I chose the Peppered Garlic Prawns and Citrus Risotto while my date chose the surprise yet again. (He was a lot braver than I was)

After letting the host know what our food and drink orders were, we were taken into a pitch-black foyer where we met our blind server, Rudy. Rudy then explained to us to hold onto each other’s shoulders (like a little train) and he would direct us to our table. Here’s the thing – when we decided to go to this restaurant, I was expecting it to just have extremely dim lighting…enough that you could kind of see what was going on. I was wrong…it is horror-movie-pitch-black. There is literally not a sliver of light for you to cling onto if you happen to be scared of the dark… which I may be. But who’s asking?

After being directed to our tables, we were given bread and butter and the wine we ordered. After a 30-second struggle with trying to butter my bread, I ruled out the utensils for the rest of the evening and went cave-man style. Yes, I somehow managed to butter my bread with my hands. No utensils got a little trickier when my salad arrived, but I used the excuse that no one could see me so it was fine. The “surprise” appetizer was a delicious arugula and strawberry salad, served with a goat cheese endive. The sweetness of the strawberries, and the tangy, creaminess of the goat cheese seemed that much more delightful when eating it in the dark. They say your other senses are heightened when your sight is taken away and I would completely agree.

My entrée of Peppered Garlic Prawns and Citrus Risotto was amazing. Perfectly cooked, buttery prawns paired with the smooth and creamy risotto made the perfect meal. Eating with my hands got a little intense when it came to the risotto, so I managed to shovel most of it onto my fork and somehow direct that to my mouth without getting it all over me. My date received his “surprise entrée” which was the Goat Cheese and Dates stuffed Chicken Breast. He said the chicken was moist and full of flavor and was already cut into little pieces to make it easy for him to eat.

My favorite thing about this experience was talking to our server, Rudy. Rudy is blind and faces the challenge of eating in the dark everyday. He told me what he loves most about working at Dark Table is the guest reaction. He said most guests come in and embrace the experience, while others have left almost immediately after “freaking out”. In Rudy’s words: “I like the fact that people can come in and experience what my everyday is, but they can do it in two hours.”

All in all, this restaurant receives an easy 5/5. I would recommend it to everyone and anyone who is looking for a unique way to spend a couple hours and experience something quite close to outstanding.

For more information on Dark Table, visit their website at: darktable.ca

Written by: Melanie Booth
@melaniejibooth

Dark Table on Urbanspoon

SEE ALSO: Dishcrawl – A Taste of Vancouver’s West End [Review]

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