Skip to main content

A unique experience in Auckland: a Dining in the Dark restaurant

Discover Dans le Noir ? THE restaurant experience to live in Auckland

When one hears the words, “Dining in the Dark” they conjure up images of food stains on clothing and spilt beverages. Shortly after, they frequently asked questions. How do I navigate in the dark? How do I eat in the dark? How will I know what I’m eating?  Some will see this as an opportunity for a bit of fun; a challenge to test their senses against those of their partner, friends and family. It will give you an understanding of challenges that the visually impaired face and you will be left with a greater appreciation of the things that sighted people take for granted.

The initial thought of entering our darkened restaurant will have some believing that their eyes will adjust and that eventually they will be able to see a faint layout of the restaurant. For some, the initial reaction to being placed in a pitch-black environment is disorientating. At this stage, a simple explanation of the immense size and lay out of the restaurant is enough to put them at ease and they will re-enter.

For all the misconceptions, dining in the dark is a unique opportunity. It requires all guests to abandon, if only for a couple hours, their sense of sight. In doing so, you are forced to rely completely on the guidance of our blind wait staff and your remaining senses. It’s only when we lose our sense of sight that we realize how important our other senses are in working out the puzzle that is Dining in the Dark.

The 5 Reasons experience Dining in the Dark at Dans le Noir? Auckland restaurant

Life is about experiences: so try this unique restaurant in Auckland

You’ve been eating with the lights on your entire life. But what would happen if you removed one of the key steps in the eating process? How successfully could you adjust your eating habits if you couldn’t see? Dans le Noir? Challenges you to step out of your comfort zone to test yourself in a situation where being deprived of sight is just the beginning.


A Sensory Journey in Auckland

It is said that we eat with our eyes and I for one would agree. In the dark however, every food item and every beverage is a complete surprise. Smell and taste now become your primary senses. It’s worth remembering; if one's sense of smell is not functional, then their sense of taste will also not function due to the relationship between the taste and smell receptors.


During the menu creation process, we place a lot of emphasis on creating menus that challenge your senses. Food texture challenges your sense of touch and forces you to try and identify the food on your plate by its shape and feel. Using your hands is a great way to explore your plate; in fact, we encourage you to use your fingers from time to time as not only will this help you to identify food items, it will also ensure you don’t leave anything behind.

A Social Experience in Auckland

When you book at Dans le Noir? Auckland, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail, part of which explains that you will be sharing a table with other guests. The reason for this is because the restaurant has a specific floor plan that has remained unchanged since we first opened in March 2017. This layout serves two purposes. Firstly, when you come to realise that your guides are completely blind, you’ll understand then that they need to be familiar with the layout of the restaurant. As they are responsible for guiding up to 12 people at a time in the darkness, providing a safe route for guests to and from their designated tables is paramount.


Secondly, sitting with a group of strangers encourages social behaviour. Any preconceptions that can be formed based on people’s appearances are left at the door of the restaurant. Inhibitions are often lowered in the dark which in turn can boost one’s confidence. When you know that your appearance, body language and facial expressions are completely hidden, even the shyest person in a group will become involved in table conversations.


In the time that we have been in operation, there have been numerous friendships formed through having met people for the first time in the dark. Guests who choose to continue their evening with new found friends at our lobby bar is a clear indicator that the social side of the experience was a success. 

Employment Opportunities in Auckland 

Customer satisfaction is something that most restaurants strive to attain. At Dans le Noir? employee satisfaction is equally important. When you have a visual impairment, employment opportunities are scarce. The Dans le Noir? brand has created employment for blind guides across 8 properties globally. For many, the chance to enter the workforce only became a reality when they began their roles at Dans le Noir.


Dans le Noir? Auckland was initially set up in 2017 as a “pop-up” venture destined to exist for only a few months. Thanks to the continued curiosity of the general public and great word of mouth referrals, we are about to enter our fourth year of operation. Perhaps the greatest achievement that we can attribute to this venture is the fact that our guides have all gained meaningful roles and responsibilities as Dans le Noir? hosts. We credit these employees for the ongoing success of Dans le Noir? Auckland.

Team Building : the ultimate experience to try with your colleagues in Auckland

Part of our ongoing popularity has come from various corporate groups and organisations who view the Dans le Noir? experience as an opportunity to create a unique team building activity. From global corporate entities to high profile sports teams, we have created private and bespoke events that have helped to achieve great team building goals and initiatives.


For more information about Dans le Noir? Auckland and our sister properties feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.