How to survive eating in total darkness

By Elizabeth Voss a foodie & Humber College Student

Toronto is the ultimate place to let your taste buds explore. And with every kind of cuisine you can imagine right at your fingertips why wouldn’t you explore? The booming infrastructure and the bustling downtown core are the perfect place for extravagant dinner experiences to pop up, the possibilities for amazing food are endless.Being a foodie I decided to check out one of Toronto’s most unique restaurants, O.NOIR.

O.NOIR is one of Toronto’s only dine-in-the-dark restaurants, and one of the most unique rooms in Canada. The premise of the restaurant is “Everything is better in the dark.” Dubbed to have an all-blind staff, and the darkness is supposed to enhance the taste of the food and give a glimpse into the life of a blind person. After reading the reviews I was curious and intrigued, so I decided to give it a try.

Here is my experience and my tips on Toronto’s one and only diner in the dark.

Upon my arrival I was surprised to see a fully lit bar and some menus. The menu works on preset options, a starter main dish and desert or if you aren’t as hungry a main dish and desert. Rest assured this isn’t your only opportunity to order food; you are free to order anytime during your experience, which lasts about 2 hours.

 Tip one: Turn off your phone completely it’s so dark that even bright coloured clothes even radiate a little light. We were escorted to our seats by our waiter, who was in fact blind, and after fumbling around and finally seating ourselves awkward silence occurred.

Tip two: make small talk on your way to your seat this helps the dark seem a little friendlier for those who are scared
Hint: Your eyes begin to adjust just enough to make out if your waiter is in fact standing beside you, so worry not my friends!
This video will give you a better understanding of what the experience is like.

Once our eyes adjusted an awkward giggle ensued, the sound of my boyfriends voice seemed louder and more intense than normal

Our starters arrived. Mine was the grilled octopus with olive oil and lime, and my boyfriend had grilled calamari with tomato. As someone who has eaten citrus sprinkled seafood many times in the past this was a whole new experience. My taste buds lit up with immense pleasure, the lime was so strong and the olive oil actually tasted like olives the calamari had a slight taste of the ocean and I was overall surprised that such a simple dish had such a powerful flavor impact.

Tip three: Don’t be afraid to order other drinks or asks for refills of your water.As we devoured our second course and desert I realized that without the visual input of what my food looked like actually surprised me. I wasn’t aware of what I would be eating so when I did bite into something the flavours were a shock. All in all the experience it’s self was amazing, the food was simple but packed a punch.

 Tip four: keep and open mind, the trust developed between you and the waiter is something magical
O.NOIR is definitely a once in a lifetime experience that everyone who loves food should try and remember to have fun!


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