It’s Halloween but rather than talking about the food people eat on Halloween (there’s only so many recipes using pumpkins!) I am going to share a recent ‘spooky’ food experience I had recently.

My wife and I were on holiday in Malaysia when we had decided to have ‘dining in the dark’ meal.

We had heard about this restaurant before we travelled but it still didn’t prepare us for what was to come.

When you enter the restaurant, you’re asked to put all belongings, particularly light emitting mobile phones into a locker for safe keeping, then on to a light hearted ‘game’ to familiarise ourselves with darkness.

We were blindfolded and given a jar containing rice and a paperclip and asked to separate them without taking off the blindfold. This demonstrated how much we indeed rely on our eyes, and definitely a genuine reason to quote the line ‘trying to find a needle in a haystack’!

Games aside, it was on with the night proper; blindfolds removed we were led to our seats in total darkness by people who are totally blind or visually impaired.

You don’t get a menu beforehand (not that you could read it of course) so you are literally in the hands of the chef.

Because you eat food with your eyes, in that you choose the dish you think you will like best by reading the menu, then you can see what it looks like when it arrives at your table, removing this sense is very eerie.

Instead, you have to rely more on you other senses, namely smell, touch and, of course, taste.

I have to admit we really liked it. Not all the food was to our taste, but that’s the whole point. Had we seen the menu before we were blindfolded, we probably would only have ordered the food we know we would have enjoyed. This way, we tried different things and we relied on our taste buds to inform what we did and didn’t like.

My wife and I like to talk when we eat out and because we were discussing the food being put in front of us, we found we were talking non-stop, so it’s definitely a social experience.

It’s also a little spooky too!

John Connell
About John Connell
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.