Just a moment


Picture the scene, it’s Natalie’s birthday & as always I’m on the hunt for something quality to surprise her with. If we were at home page I would be prepping for this day weeks or even months in advance, however, life on the road doesn’t permit that; so once I knew for sure that we would be in Ho Chi Minc City, I had to lớn act fast. And then I saw, Dining in the Dark…


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Thankfully it didn’t take much research lớn come across Noir. Being ranked as one of the top restaurants in HCMC with solid outstanding Review on Trip Advisor, I was naturally curious lớn find out more. And it was only after reading through some of the comments that the penny finally dropped. Noir is Vietnams first và only dining in the dark experience. I’d heard of similar restaurants baông chồng in London, but admittedly I hadn’t ever been tempted lớn try one. I guess there’s something daunting about not being able to lớn see what you are eating – Plus I’m a messy eater at the best of times! Noir did sound special though. Not only did they have exceptional reviews, but I also learned that a large percentage of their employees are either deaf or blind/visually impaired. I found it inspiring that they were offering these individuals a career trajectory & that a percentage of profits is donated to local supporting charities. I was looking for something out of the ordinary và it seemed I had found it, so I immediately made a reservation.

As we arrived at Noir. we were politely greeted by the manager và asked lớn take a seat in the lounge area. There we enjoyed a complimentary welcome drink as he eloquently described what we could expect from the evening. I had decided to keep Natalie in the dark (excuse the pun) until we arrived at the restaurant, therefore it was amusing to lớn see the bewildered look on her face as it was explained that our dining experience was khổng lồ be in complete darkness. We were told that without sight, all of our other senses are heightened; therefore we would be using taste & texture to lớn identify the food và touch lớn navigate our way around the table.


From the menu we were given the option of 3 different cuisines – Western, Eastern or Vegetarian, however, all dishes would be kept a secret until the end of the meal. There was also an extensive drinks thực đơn including wine, cocktails, spirits or even secret pairing options. After both deciding on the Western thực đơn & a nice bottle of Malbec, there was one last thing for us khổng lồ bởi. As a fun & creative way of preparing us for the dining experience, we were presented with a simple puzzle that was to be completed blindfolded. As we struggled khổng lồ identify the correct shapes for the empty spaces, we revelled in amusement at how we were ever going to lớn manage lớn feed ourselves in complete darkness.


When it was our turn to be seated we eagerly made our way towards the dining room. Understandably they vì chưng not permit any phones or other light sources in the room, therefore we were asked to store any belongings we had in the lockers outside. Next, we were introduced to our blind waiter ‘Bow’, whom through the heavyweight of darkness, very carefully lead us to lớn our seats. Following a brief explanation on how to lớn navigate the table, we were left lớn our own devices. And it wasn’t long before we broke out into lớn nervous giggles. Being immersed in darkness with nothing but the gentle sound of other diners as company, was understandably a little strange at first. However, after successfully locating the wine, it didn’t take us long to relax inlớn the situation. And all there was to lớn worry about then, was what culinary delights they had in store for us!

The first course was served promptly và consisted of 4 different dishes, strategically laid out on a tray in front of us. We were advised khổng lồ start from the top right & work our way clockwise, leaving our inner child wondering – ‘what will happen if I don’t?’ But anyhow we played by the rules, & with each dish were rewarded with an explosion of different flavours & textures. We took absolute delight in guessing what each of the dishes could be và therefore were pleased that we followed their recommendation lớn have the same thực đơn. We toyed with using the cutlery at first, however soon discovered we could eat far more efficiently using our fingers, and for this, we were grateful that notoàn thân could see us. Well apart from the infrared cameras that they no doubt have sầu installed!

Ultimately we were served 11 incredible dishes – 4 starters, 4 mains & 3 desserts, each completely chất lượng & delectable in taste. When we were done, we were taken baông chồng lớn the lounge area và quizzed on the food we had eaten. The quiz revealed that the palate sure can be deceiving when you are unable lớn see what is in front of you. Unfortunately, I can’t discthất bại any of the dishes that we sampled that night, as they only update the menu quarterly (and I wouldn’t want to lớn spoil the fun for anyone). However what I can say, is that we tried things that we would never have thought to lớn order ourselves. Yet we thoroughly enjoyed each & every one of them.


As the evening drew khổng lồ a cthua kém, it has khổng lồ be said that we were both a little sad it was over. However, thankfully there was one final surprise to lớn come. I had organised for the restaurant to lớn prepare Natalie a birthday cake, và as we finished the last of our wine, appreciating what a fantastic evening it had been, the staff gathered to lớn sing her a happy birthday. First with the tuy nhiên and then in sign language by their deaf employees. It was a beautiful kết thúc, to a beautiful evening, & when I saw it bring tears (of joy) to Natalie’s eyes I knew I’d done well!

I can’t express enough what a chất lượng và wonderful experience Noir was for us. All of the staff ensured we had a magical evening from start lớn over và we can’t wait to lớn experience dining in the dark again, somewhere else in the world.

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HostelDormlink&club – Located in the đô thị, this accommodation boasts a garden, bar, shared lounge & miễn phí breakfast!

Budget PrivateKem’s Nest– This affordable accommodation offers River/City views và a shared kitchen. But most of all, soundproofing! You will want this staying in the City.

LuxuryRiverGate Junetrang chủ Luxury– For a little extra, a touch of luxury includes, soundproofing, stunning đô thị views, fully equipt kitchen, breakfast, a garden with an outdoor swimming pool.

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Did you enjoy our experience of dining in the dark in Ho Chi Minh?

Well, that concludes our unique experience dining in the dark in Ho Chi Minh. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical country. If you have sầu any questions or feel we have sầu missed anything, please reach out lớn us in the comment section below, through our tương tác us page. Don’t forget to lớn follow us on Instagram here where we cốt truyện further travel advice và inspiration.

Stay adventurous và Happy travels.

Charlotte & Natalie x

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