Noir: Rediscover Your 4 Senses By Dining In The Dark

Dozens of new restaurants, from local to international cuisine, open every day in Ho Chi Minh City. Such torrent of options usually satisfy the pickiest food-addicts looking for unique culinary experiences.
Noir: Dining In The Dark perfectly illustrates this.

Blind Dinner

I’m guessing most people don’t eat in complete darkness very often. Normally in a restaurant, you have the advantage that you know what you are going to eat. Not at Noir: Dining In The Dark! Here you choose between Asian, Western or Vegetarian menu and then the adventure begins!

What to Eat?

The point of Noir is to enhance your senses, putting apart sight. When picking your menu, you are only informed there will be a starter, a main course, and a dessert. With three to four sets of dishes for each.

Noir, dining in the dark, blind waiter
Photo courtesy of Noir

From this, it’s up to you to experience what sits in front of you on your plate, without being able to see. Can you differentiate crab from shrimp or pork from chicken just with your palate? Don’t answer too fast: it’s deceptively difficult to guess when you can’t use your eyes! Be ready for a surprise when, back in the light, the staff shows you pictures of your meals. You may realize, like us, that you have mistaken apple for pear or cucumber for bamboo shoots.

Welcome To Noir’s Lobby

Noir: dining in the dark, entrance and parking
Located at the end of the alley 180D Hai Ba Trung, District 1, HCMC, the restaurant invites its clients to chill out in a stylish (and luminous) waiting room. The staff explains, with a drink of your choice, how the dinner experience will occur. In English or in Vietnamese, the waiters inform you how to navigate the dark room without hitting the tables (that’s very nice from them!), and where the plates, forks, and spoons will be placed in front of your blinded eyes. They also check if you have any food intolerance to make sure you thoroughly enjoy your journey.

Noir: Dining in the dark, western style meal prepared by kitchen staff

Many people may wonder: If I cannot see what I am eating, how can I make sure everything is clean!? Don’t worry, the restaurant doesn’t trick clients this way. Be sure that all dishes served at Noir: Dining In The Dark are perfectly fine. Tested and approved.

Dark Experience

Once at your table, the real trip starts.

You are in total darkness. No phone, no watch, no potentially bright item is allowed in (you leave them in a secured locker before entering). Without sight, you have to rely on your hearing, smell, touch, and of course taste. Your balance will be affected too. You look around without being able to see your hand in front of your face. It can become fun and surreal trying to orientate yourself in complete darkness.

We recommend you to keep your eyes closed. What difference does it make? Surprisingly, you feel better. The staff also invites you to do so since a light headache can sometimes occur when keeping eyes opened in a dark room.

Learning How To Use A Spoon

At first, it seems pretty simple to eat something that you don’t see. In reality, you quickly come to realize how much you rely on sight in everyday life. You pick that plate. Plant your fork into it. You miss then try again. You miss one more time. Have you ever made fun of Asians sticking their bowls to their mouth to push the food inside? We found out it’s the best way to “eat clean” there! Fortunately, Noir doesn’t share any video of you eating in the dark online…

Noir experience, glass cup in the darkness

Losing 80% Of Senses

Without your sight, your focus turns to your other senses. No more smartphone in between that lovely couple. You cannot see, but you can still talk and hear. The experience is greatly enhanced if you visit this place with two or more people.
Certainly, you will share (mostly) funny comments. You can bet on what you are eating (we recommend everyone chooses the same menu to play along). You are not alone in the dark!

We noticed the staff plays music according to the customers. Now you understand why they asked your citizenship while in the lobby. Such attention to detail is always appreciated. Above all the experience feels ‘different’. Dining in the dark could be compared with enjoying a spa treatment or having a yoga session. Shutting down the light ensures you eat slowly and with care. The whole experience is serene and peaceful.

Flawless Customer Service

Noir restaurant bar, Blanc area

The blind dinner adventure stands as the main reason for visiting Noir: Dining In The Dark. There is another reason that makes the restaurant an enjoyable venue in Ho Chi Minh City: the caring staff.

Unlike most of Saigon’s restaurants where waiters judge if you are a one-time patron or they just don’t care about you because they will leave this position soon, Noir’s employees are extremely concerned about the needs of their clients.
They take time to discuss with you, understand your expectations, answer your questions, reassure your fears. They are smiling, funny, and here for you. In an overcrowded and speedy city like Saigon, that’s exceptional enough to be mentioned.

We loved the customer service, and we bet it won’t disappoint you.

Can I Have The Bill, Please?

Such concept, experience and service come at a price.
The three menus, rotated every few months, start at 480,000 VND for the Vegetarian, then 560,000 VND for the Asian, up to 650,000 VND for the Western, not including the drinks yet.
Those prices do not include the 5% service charge and 10% VAT yet. It means you should get there with a minimum budget of 800,000 VND per person. Note that the drinks choice is quite large, and wines are rather expensive too.
So you may not visit the restaurant every single day, but we guarantee it totally worth the money spent.

Noir: Various Options

The restaurant does organize different kinds of events and can even tailor them for you under request. Noir: Dining In The Dark also offers team-building activities with discovery games for up to 50 people at once. Wine-tasters will enjoy their wide selection. Music-lovers will appreciate listening to a concert with no distraction. And Food-lovers will enjoy this unique culinary experience.

Noir: dining in the dark western cuisine

Are you willing to give a try? Submit your reservation inquiry or call them at +84 9866 32525. You can also visit their Facebook.

Come with an open mind – if not with open eyes!