Dark Table dining experience is really an adventure. Blind dining is popular in other larger cities around the world and has finally landed in Vancouver, BC. You’re dining in pitch darkness, so you can definitely feel how it’s like losing one of your senses. When it was first opened , I didn’t feel an urge to come here, but I’m glad I finally did it.
They are giving diners a unique experience and they proudly hire people with visual impairments. They state that the unemployment rate is 70% among the blind. In the dark dining environment, they are the ones guiding us through our dining experience and we follow.
We made reservations ahead of time and on a Friday night, it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t crowded and was a good size for the amount of people freaking out over the darkness.
You order your meal outside in the lounge and choose from either 3 courses ($39) or 2 courses ($33). The main dishes you choose, but the starter and dessert are a mystery. Once you order, you wait a short while until one of their legally blind servers takes you inside. Lazaare was our server and he was very nice and humble. The dinner lasts 1.5 hours on average. They make you turn off your cell phone and any light producing devices like illuminating watches.
This is what we saw the entire night looked like. I felt pretty disoriented most of the time. You’re unaware of your surroundings, sense of time, and weird emotional feelings. My friends were scared and excited to be trying this out. The first thing you’ll notice is that your hearing gets better. You could hear everything in the room, but maybe it’s because your sense of sight is taken away, so you speak louder. For some reason I felt a bit anxious for no reason and when the food came, I had an urge to eat it fast.
It was fun trying to navigate the plate and seeing where to put the fork. I spent a bit of time eating with my hands and feeling my food. We made guesses to our mystery starters and dessert, but we soon discovered our sense of taste was quite weak.
Stop reading now if you don’t want to be spoiled by real pictures of their food.
This is what I would have posted, but we asked the restaurant to help us take pictures. They were happy to do so since no one really knows what the food really looks like. It is carefully put together and we should be celebrating the dining experience and the food.
Plus, it’s always fun to see the food that you image and what it really looks like.
While eating this, I thought it was a plate full of salad and poking it with my fork. My friend said she felt cups. “Stuff in cups” was her explanation. So I started navigating the plate with my hands. The “cups” that she was referring to were endives stuffed with some mixture and cheese. On the other side is a salad with walnuts and strawberries. I guessed the endives right, but I had no idea what else was on the plate. I actually thought the strawberries were peaches.
My failed taste buds fail me.
Fresh Ravioli with jalapeno, rosemary cream sauce.
M had this dish and he used a fork to pick at it. He kept going at it until there was no more. He did enjoy it.
Veal Schnitzel (Viennese Style) with potatoes and seasoned vegetables.
My friends ordered this dish and they said “It’s so big and feels hard”. We made a lot of bad jokes since were dining in the dark. The taste of it was pretty good.
Goat Cheese and dates stuffed chicken breast with orange gastrique, roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Looks pretty good. Too bad we couldn’t see it while we ate it.
Beef Tenderloin with a peppercorn sauce and potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
I ordered it medium rare and they made it right. You didn’t have to see the image to know. When I bit into the dish, I was so glad it was pre sliced so I didn’t have to accidentally slice off any fingers.
This was the hardest dessert to decipher while eating it. In my mind, I was so sure it was a black forest cake. Our table had debates about what it could be. In the dark I ate it all, but when seeing it in pictures, it wouldn’t be a dessert that I wouldn’t pick. I’m pretty mindblown that I learned I eat with my eyes more than my tastebuds.
Another version of the Surprise Dessert. I’m sure they have different desserts with people with diet restrictions.
After the dark dining, we left quite satisfied with our meal. I remember thinking everything tasted great and had this idea of how the plate was presented. My imagination was soaring.
We then were led to the cashiers area to pay for the meal. After that, we were led back outside and all we saw was white for a few seconds since it was so bright outside. We were so curious what our food actually looked like since we all had different reactions to what was on our plate. The food tasted good but when you look at the pictures what you image may or may not align.
The food isn’t fine dining , but it’s more for the experience. You have to come here with an open mind and try everything. Definitely recommended.
We Rate Dark Table:
2611 W 4th Ave