Abu DhabiRestaurants

FACT First Look: Dining In The Dark at Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences

A brand new culinary experience has made its way to the capital and it’s one that you don’t want to miss.

Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residences has long been held in high esteem for its eclectic culinary offering at the far end of Abu Dhabi’s glittering corniche. The glitzy copper coloured building houses an array of exciting dining destinations and under the guidance of new food and beverage director Elias Saad, the five-star hotel presents a unique culinary adventure for foodies in the capital to explore – Dining In The Dark! 

The immersive new dining experience takes place at Fresh Basil on the hotel’s second floor. What was once a boutique delicatessen has been converted into an intimate sensory-driven dining experience under the tagline ‘pitch black dining.’ The 90-minute culinary adventure takes place in a pitch black dining room, where you will enjoy a three-course mystery set menu while relying on your remaining senses – smell, touch, taste and sound. 

Dining In The Dark

The experience is unusual at first, as we’re led to our seats by a waiter wearing night-vision goggles. We may be impaired in our sight but we can immediately feel our other senses heightened. While the dining experience starts off somewhat unnerving and disjointed, as we attempt to locate our water glasses and cutlery, it’s surprising how quickly we become accustomed to the darkness. We eventually relish the fact that the food and our dining companion have our full attention.

Fresh Basil’s converted dining room has been designed to eliminate all outside light sources through three layers of thick black-out curtains. Mobile phones and other light-emitting devices are securely placed in lockboxes to ensure a surprising meal for all attendees. While we will not reveal the dishes here (you’ll have to visit for yourself), the eclectic menu features seafood and meat served with various sides and accompaniments. Each plate is a textural marvel, leaving us to blindly guessing what the individual components may be. Some items such as mushrooms are easier to guess than others, and with foams, flakes and jus adding to the confusion, a lot of attention is required to decipher each dish adequately.

Dining In The Dark

This is the fun of dining in the dark. With your sight temporarily removed, the reliance on smell and taste takes over, allowing us to focus on precisely what it is we are eating. There’s a camaraderie with the other diners as to what each course entails but with no distractions, and we’re able to fully enjoy an hour and a half of unbridled conversation and good food.

With the three courses complete, we’re led into a candlelit room to allow our eyes to readjust to the outside world. Here, the individual dishes are finally revealed to us, amongst looks of surprise and gasps of excitement.

Dining In The Dark

Dining in The Dark offers a unique and exciting new culinary experience for the diners in Abu Dhabi, but best of all, it’s an evening of adventurous fun.

Dining In The Dark is priced at AED 249 per person and includes a three-course mystery set menu with a welcome drink and canapés. Food allergies and dietary requirements are all taken into consideration at the time of booking.

GO: Call (0)56 992 2078 for reservations and more information.

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