Savour a 12-course set menu like no other at this secret restaurant on Beach Road, Singapore
Quick, off the top of your head – which is your most important sense when you’re dining at a restaurant? If you instinctively thought of your sense of taste, you’re not wrong. After all, the pleasure of food-feasting mostly depends on your responses to flavours…right? But say we found a place that contorts your perception of the dining experience; a clandestine locale that we promise will alter the way you eat and relish what’s on your plate. Trust us; it’s hard to turn a blind eye to the confounding concept of NOX – Dine in the Dark. Because, well – for all intents and purposes – you are blind.
At NOX, you are completely shrouded in darkness, to the point where your sense of sight is utterly disabled. But as petrifying as such a setting might seem, rest assured that you’re in good (handi-)capable hands. A poignant feature of NOX, the service staff that take care of patrons on the pitch-black second storey are all visually-impaired themselves, making them masters at meandering through the unilluminated environment. We know this to be true, ’cos we didn’t end up tripping over our shadows when we paid NOX a visit to sample its December menu catered for the Xmas season and New Year’s Eve.
Prior to our secret 12-course omakase dinner, we were treated to one of NOX’s bespoke cocktails; you can request for a customised tipple or a mystery concoction meant to complement your meal. And promptly after, we were nicely instructed to store our belongings (especially our camera phones) in the provided lockers. ’Cos understandably – though NOX’s chefs are ardently passionate about their classy cuisine – they don’t want anyone to spoil the surprise.
Naturally, our details of this banquet – food-wise – will be scant. And even if we could tell you, there’s a slim chance of it being inaccurate due to our vision being incapacitated. Appetisers, entrees and desserts are served four at a time, in bowls that encourage you to keep the food close to your mouth (it’s easier to eat that way!). We won’t tell you how they’re prepared, but we can tell you that we were treated to (what felt like) fluffy cod fish and buttery foie gras terrine. Here, trying to paint a picture in your mind as you’re munching down on your mystery food is as entertaining as tasting the delicacies – which are, without a doubt, delish. Selections that you presume you would’ve easily picked up on – such as smoked salmon (maybe?), beef tartare (possibly?) or apple strudel (who knows?) – take a longer time to process as your senses, albeit the remaining ones, play tricks on you. Conclusions we can come to from this culinary guessing game, however, are rich bursts of flavours, cheeky contrasts of textures and generous-yet-not-too-filling portions that will have you leaving the establishment stunned and satisfied.
We could go on with our vague delineation of revelations at NOX, but we wouldn’t wanna ruin all the fun for you. Besides, NOX’s menu changes every four to six weeks, so sooner or later, our food analysis will be rendered moot. Have a look for yourself (or in this case, don’t), and we assure you a baffling yet rewarding experience that will instil you with a greater appreciation of your senses. A lesson worth learning, with a stuffed happy tum to boot.
NOX – Dine in the Dark, 269 Beach Road, Singapore 199546, p. 6298 0708. Open Mon-Fri 6pm-late, Sat 5pm-late, Sun 5pm-11pm. Exclusive Festive Menu ($88++) is available until December 31. Premium Christmas Menu ($128++) available on December 24 and 25. New Year’s Eve Menu ($168++) available on December 31. Get a free post-dinner cocktail when you quote “HC269” when making a reservation until Jan 31, 2016.
This article is sponsored by NOX – Dine in the Dark.