Dining in the Dark in Doha

One hundred guests sit down to dinner at the Oryx Rotana with no idea what they’re getting
ByHeather DonohueMonday , 03 March 2014
Dining in the Dark in Doha
© Elizabeth Hachem

Dining in the dark, a novel foodie experience already popular in cities around the world from Montreal to London, has arrived in Doha.

The Oryx Rotana Doha held a From Darkness to Light event on 25 February in support of non-profit group ORBIS, where 100 guests, including British Ambassador His Excellency Nicholas Hopton and his wife, were invited to enjoy a three course meal in a dark dining room, while blindfolded.

The menu was kept secret and guests were encouraged to guess what they were eating, writing notes down on the paper tablecloth. The waiters told diners when the food was in front of them, but how to get it from the plate to the mouth was totally up to each guest!

The only rule of the night was that peeking was cheating, so eating with your hands, knocking over your water or dropping food all over your lap was totally ok and expected. Cue general hilarity as guests dropped their cutlery, shouted out their guesses on each dish and got excited because someone found where the mashed potatoes were on their plate!

Guests were eventually told that they had dined on stuffed smoked salmon rolls for starters, grilled beef tenderloin with truffled mashed potatoes for mains and a dessert of espresso panna cotta.

The purpose of the evening, apart from having a good time of course, was to give guests an idea of the everyday difficulties faced by people suffering from blindness.

The evening ended with a short video about the work of ORBIS, an organization supported by the Oryx Rotana Doha which works to prevent and treat blindness in developing countries, and the role of the group’s Flying Eye Hospital.

  • If you’d like to experience dining in the dark, Oryx Rotana is offering corporate bookings. Phone 4402 3333