Arouse your palate and heighten your senses on a mouthwatering culinary journey at “Dining in the Dark”, where the highly-trained staff at Fresh Basil on the 2nd floor of Bab Al Qasr in Abu Dhabi are equipped with night-vision goggles to lead you through a delicious three-course culinary journey, to ensure an exclusive experience.

Eye appeal may be half the meal, but multiple studies show most people eat with their eyes, but with that sense eliminated, the theory is that the other senses such as taste and smell are enhanced through sensory deprivation.

Dining with others is considered a form of social interaction, but dining in the dark may provide a deeper level of conversation and intimacy. The absence of distractions promotes the art of conversation while immersed in total darkness to disconnect from the world and your mobile devices, so you can reconnect with the ones sitting beside you. 

The aroma of the food, textures, and sounds may become more enhanced as diners are in an interoceptive state of awareness because the brain’s attentional and oculomotor systems are more active. Of all our senses, sight dominates how we perceive the world around us; however, this dining experience is unique, because it provides the state of mystery as you escape to a multi-sensory space where your imagination takes away preconceptions without the sense of sight and awakens your sense of touch, auditory, taste, smell and … thought. 

If you tend to be the one at the table who often says, “you can dress me up, but you can’t take me out” as you may frequently spill liquids or end up with a few crumbles on the table, or prefer to eat with your hands or even desire to lick the plate (but too many people are watching) – this experience is perfect for you and for anyone who wants to eat while having the full freedom to express their love and appreciation as they enjoy each bite – with no judgment. Yes – I’m referring to all of you who want to eat that entire chocolate ganache, without someone reminding you that you are on a diet. “Dining in the Dark” in Abu Dhabi is the perfect setting to authentically be yourself and live your best life, because when your food is out of sight – it is out of mind, right? 

For those who need a little push to step outside their comfort zone as they dine – don’t worry – the professional and well-equipped staff will provide you with an apron, help you adjust slowly to complete darkness, show you your chair and let you enjoy your meal of imagination and wonder with only forks, spoons, plates and a glass (knives are removed for safety purposes). 

Since the room must remain dark at all times, any devices or items that emit light are prohibited; however, after the meal, you’ll be guided back into the light. 

With a secret menu presented and not unveiled until the very end of your three-course meal, guests can have fun guessing which food and drink they tried and have the opportunity to test their educated taste buds on what they believe their palate experienced versus what they actually ate.

Priced at Dh 249 per person, tickets must be purchased in advance in order to take a leap into the dark for a memorable dining experience full of fun and intrigue. 

Great for date nights, corporate events, wedding parties, family get-togethers,  and meet-ups of all kinds.

From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays to Fridays from Wednesday, September 15; Dh249 per person; for diners aged 12 and older; reservations required; Bab Al Qasr, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi; 056 992 2078

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