Monday, August 19, 2013

New Restaurant: Nox Dining in the Dark

Hi everyone!

I've been itching to go for a Dine in the Dark experience ever since I heard of it in my JC a few years ago so when a chance presented itself on Saturday 17 Aug, I quickly made a reservation and went down with the boy to try it out! So this is my experience:

When making reservations: 
Make sure you remember to state your dietary requirements because it is a prie fixe menu decided by the chef and you cannot choose any parts of your meal + since its dining in the dark you cannot see what you're eating so you cannot pick & choose what to eat! I was very happy to leave my food in the hands of the chef who was previously from Ember (love the food!) and Private Affairs.

On the day itself:
You'll receive a call from the restaurant confirming your reservation and your dietary requirements. I was a little put off because I stated pescatarian and the lady said "so you're vegetarian but you eat fish?" then I said "No, I eat all seafood." well please bother to at least google/ the word before asking! Then again, I'm glad they at least clarified it with me.

Upon arrival:
You're shown to the bar/lounge area for pre-dinner drinks and your amuse bouche is also served here. A lady will also explain how the night will proceed and you typically have to wait about 15mins in the lounge for your table to be ready. She will also inform you that your server for the night is visually impaired and that you will be served 3 courses but 4 dishes per course, so technically you're having 12 dishes! (But dont worry about not being able to finish, cos each dish is served in a small square bowl! On hindsight, this is to aid you in eating!)

You will also be presented the drinks menu and their bespoke cocktails cost $20 each! I like that they have bars to depict how sweet/sour/strong/bitter etc each cocktail is so you can really choose one with a taste you're looking for!

Amuse bouche
Prawns, balsamic, feta, and something else but I cant remember

I ate it in a mouthful and I remember really liking the sweetness + crunchyness from the prawn, the slight tanginess from the balsamic & slight creamy taste from the feta. In short, I liked this amuse bouche! 4.3/5

Ignite My Passion
Rum, passionfruit, lime, lemon, mint, spice (cant rmb if there's anything else!)

It came flaming and I thought the name was apt! The boy said it tastes like passionfruit coke haha and it does a little! On the sour scale, this is well okay considered quite sour but not as sour as I thought/wanted it to be! 4/5

The Concubine
Strawberry, kwai fei, and I cant rmb the last ingredient!

This was a bit sweet but was refreshing nonetheless! 4/5

When your table is ready:
A lady will inform you of that and suggest that you finish your pre-dinner drinks as you cannot bring them upstairs. She will also ask if you would like still/sparkling water or wine upstairs, they DO NOT serve tap water because according to her, the thing you're drinking needs to be in a bottle so that its easier for you to pour (then again if its tap water, you can just put it in a bottle and let us pour it ourselves since for still/sparkling water we are also pouring it ourselves!). 

You will be advised to go to the washroom, and I suggest you do so that you dont have to walk up & down the stairs when you wanna go to the toilet halfway through the meal. 

Then you will have to put all your belongings including your phone + watch into lockers and then your visually impaired server will be at the stairs ready to bring you up! 

Walking up the stairs into the dining area:
Your guide will ask one of you to put your hands on his/her shoulders and your dining partner(s) to put theirs on yours so you form a human train (reminds me of my childhood!) and you walk up the stairs into the dining area like that because its pitch dark inside! Your guide will call out your name to check that you're there and not lost. 

You're brought to your table and your guide will show you to your chair by placing your hand on the back of your chair. Then he will tell you what's on your table and how they're arranged. You're then given the bottle of wtv you ordered and given a tip on how to pour it yourself so you wouldnt pour too much such that it spills. Then your very friendly guide will say he'll come back with the appetiser.

He also encourages you to discuss what you have eaten in the meal and try to guess + remember what you ate.

The 3 course meal:
Each course comes with 4 dishes displayed in a cross shape and you're advised to start w the dish in front of you and work your way clockwise. My menu was slightly different from the boy's, his was the standard one that everyone gets but mine was customised for my dietary requirement! So I'll be reviewing the boy's + mine. Although I do have the menu of what was served, I was asked not to spread it otherwise I will spoil the experience for others and I agree hence I wont be telling you what was served!

We had 2 of the same dishes here! I'll review the boy's first.

Dish #1: I felt that the truffle oil taste could be stronger and maybe a bit colder! (same but this was my dish 2 + guessed correctly)
Dish #2: we thought the fruit served was something else but in the end we were wrong! (guessed the main ingredient correctly!)
Dish #3: this was slurpilicious! (guessed it correctly!) And his fav appetiser dish! I really liked this too!
Dish #4: this was chewy and we couldnt tell what it was (same but this was my dish 3)

Dish #1: couldnt tell what this was and the texture was a little weird
Dish #4: I honestly couldnt tell what this was haha didnt really know what I was eating!

Only 1 dish here was the same

The boy's:
Dish #1: he could tell straight away what he was eating and he q liked it!
Dish #2: this dish was his favourite, its a stew-like dish! (same as mine)
Dish #3: he couldnt really tell what this was and this had a chewy component to it
Dish #4: he thought this was this meat but in actual fact, it was another type of meat! He really liked the grilled fruit in this dish

Dish 1: I thought I knew what this was when I ate it, but in the end I was wrong! It was cut into really small pieces and it tastes totally like what I thought it was sigh
Dish 3: I could tell right away the type of fish in this dish and what accompanied this dish! Yay!
Dish 4: I guessed this dish correctly too! Including the marinade. This was executed really well

We both had the same desserts!

Dish 1: Refreshing but would be better if it were more sour!
Dish 2: Mmmm love me some of these as dessert but would be better if it flowed more~
Dish 3: we totally guessed this wrongly!!! Totally didnt taste like what its supposed to be! (the boy liked this the most!)
Dish 4: we were kinda surprised cos we didnt expect ____ to be a component of this dish, we thought it was just the usual dessert! (I liked this the most)

During the meal
After you've finished one course, your guide will ask if you're done and then he'll take it away and be back with your next course after awhile. He'll also check on how you're doing and ask if you can guess your food. Our server, Halimi (not sure about spelling!) is super SUPER SUPER friendly and nice!!!! Totally open to talking about himself and his experience :) was really humbled by him, his take of life and what happened to him. I also dropped my fork, but was warned not to try and retrieve it and was given a new one by Halimi!

I advise you not to wear an expensive dress + spread your napkin really wide on your lap because you'll likely drop some food on your lap and you dont want it on your clothes!

After you've finished
We were left there at the table, desserts werent cleared, we werent approached to ask if we were done and we would like to leave. Not sure if we were supposed to be the ones saying it since after the previous 2 courses our food was cleared and there was always a "debrief". Okay so anyway we called our guide and told him we wanted the bill and we were led downstairs!

You're then seated at the bar and after awhile a lady will present you with a form (we werent given this but were supposed to! Then when the lady realised we didnt have it, I told her its ok cos we're rushing for time). The form is for you to pen down what you think you ate! It can be like some sorta competition between/amongst you and your dining companion(s).

After that you'll be given the actual menu and photos of the food so that you can check your answers and appreciate what you've eaten!

The bill
It was $216 or something along those lines for 2 prix fixe menus (each is $78++), 2 cocktails ($20++ each) and a bottle of still water (not sure how much this is!) So be prepared to spend a minimum of 78++ per pax if you're not ordering any drinks!

The menu
Generally the food is rather well thought out and execution is rather good too. Nice novel idea to try out 12 small dishes in one night. And the idea of eating totally in the dark is not that daunting either! Its actually q fun and you get used to it pretty quickly. You'll also realise that your "6th sense" (ok proprioception) is actually very acute and you can really "feel" where things are. You'll feel that your sense of sound, esp where the sound is coming from.

Very good friendly service by your guide! The dining room upstairs is divided into 4 rooms and each server is in charge of 1 room I think! Not too sure if there's more. But downstairs at the lounge, its just 2 ladies and I think they can afford more staff there! Because they juggle quite a few things. But overall, it was good service with nice friendly smiles always and v polite :)

Overall: its a nice & unique but expensive experience! The lady said that the menu will probably change monthly after awhile since its only their 3rd week into operations.

Nox Dining in the Dark
269 Beach Road (parking is a bitch!!)
Tues-Sun 6pm till late
You can make instant reservations + find out more about the experience + FAQs at their website


  1. you don't eat meat at all? then what about pork and foie gras? you reviewed them many times

    1. hi, a lot of the meat on my blog that i review is eaten by my boyfriend and i just try a bit of it. foie gras i do eat because i really like it. and i do eat meat but occasionally only

  2. Excellent review. Makes me want to go try Nox. Would you recommend red or white wine with the food that was served?

    1. Hi! Thank you for your kind feedback :) I think it would be better to ask the staff for recommendations as the menu might be different from what I had during your visit! Sorry I cant be much of a help! As for my menu, I'd say white if you follow the seafood = white wine "rule".

  3. Hi there.. thanks for the review.. may i know how much will it be with wine then?

  4. That particular blog post is written artistically and it includes many practical knowledge for everybody. I guess you've carried out a great job of handling this delicate

  5. I prefer not making reservations for restaurants. If I can not go when I want to then I go elsewhere.

  6. This restaurant is too expensive for me. Taxes eat up too much of my income.


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