Picture the scene, it’s Natalie’s birthday và as always I’m on the hunt for something unique lớn surprise her with. If we were at home 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 Minh City, I had khổng lồ act fast. And then I saw, Dining in the Dark…


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Thankfully it didn’t take much retìm kiếm to come across Noir. Being ranked as one of the top restaurants in HCMC with solid outstanding nhận xét on Trip Advisor, I was naturally curious khổng lồ 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 back in London, but admittedly I hadn’t ever been tempted lớn try one. I guess there’s something daunting about not being able to 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 sầu 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 and that a percentage of profits is donated lớn local supporting charities. I was looking for something out of the ordinary and 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 to 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 lớn keep Natalie in the dark (excuse the pun) until we arrived at the restaurant, therefore it was amusing 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 and touch khổng lồ navigate our way around the table.


From the thực đơn we were given the option of 3 different cuisines – Western, Eastern or Vegetarian, however, all dishes would be kept a secret until the over of the meal. There was also an extensive sầu drinks menu including wine, cocktails, spirits or even secret pairing options. After both deciding on the Western menu and a nice bottle of Malbec, there was one last thing for us lớn vày. As a fun & creative sầu way of preparing us for the dining experience, we were presented with a simple puzzle that was lớn 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 khổng lồ manage to 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 not permit any phones or other light sources in the room, therefore we were asked khổng lồ store any belongings we had in the lockers outside. Next, we were introduced lớn our blind waiter ‘Bow’, whom through the heavyweight of darkness, very carefully lead us to lớn our seats. Following a brief explanation on how khổng lồ navigate the table, we were left khổng lồ our own devices. And it wasn’t long before we broke out inlớn 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 lớn relax into the situation. And all there was lớn worry about then, was what culinary delights they had in store for us!

The first course was served promptly & consisted of 4 different dishes, strategically laid out on a tray in front of us. We were advised to lớn start from the top right và work our way clockwise, leaving our inner child wondering – ‘what will happen if I don’t?’ But anyhow we played by the rules, and with each dish were rewarded with an explosion of different flavours and textures. We took absolute delight in guessing what each of the dishes could be & therefore were pleased that we followed their recommendation khổng lồ have sầu the same menu. We toyed with using the cutlery at first, however soon discovered we could eat far more efficiently using our fingers, & for this, we were grateful that notoàn thân could see us. Well apart from the infrared cameras that they no doubt have 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 bachồng 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 to lớn see what is in front of you. Unfortunately, I can’t discthua thảm any of the dishes that we sampled that night, as they only update the menu quarterly (& I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for anyone). However what I can say, is that we tried things that we would never have sầu thought to lớn order ourselves. Yet we thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them.


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

I can’t express enough what a unique & wonderful experience Noir was for us. All of the staff ensured we had a magical evening from start khổng lồ kết thúc & we can’t wait to experience dining in the dark again, somewhere else in the world.

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HostelDormlink&club – Located in the city, this accommodation boasts a garden, bar, shared lounge and không lấy 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 JuneHome Luxury– For a little extra, a touch of luxury includes, soundproofing, stunning thành phố views, fully equipt kitchen, breakfast, a garden with an outdoor swimming pool.

For more Accommodation in Nusa Penida, you can kiểm tra thelathử nghiệm prices here.

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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 khổng lồ us in the comment section below, through our tương tác us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we cốt truyện further travel advice & inspiration.

Stay adventurous và Happy travels.

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Charlotte và Natalie x

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