Those familiar with the concept of NOX – Dine in the Dark, formerly located on Singapore’s Beach Road, will appreciate how it is able to transport diners into a whole different world.
As its name suggests, guests dine in complete darkness. Under pitch black conditions, your eyes are rendered useless, leaving you with only your senses of touch, taste, smell, and hearing to guide you through your meal.
Not being able to rely on your sight while eating can be a jarring experience. But in this age of Instagrammable food and ‘camera eats first’ culture, it is a much welcome change of pace. Any source of light such as your smartphone and watch is not allowed into the second floor dining area. You’ll leave it at the lockers provided downstairs.
In any case, rest assured that the visually impaired staff members that serve you will help you navigate your sudden deprivation of sight. They’ll show how you can feel your way around the table to find your utensils and wine glass, for instance. Or know how full your glass of water is when filling it from the flask simply by listening.
Having visually impaired staff serve you also adds another dimension to the dining experience. To an extent, it lets you walk a mile in their shoes, and you’ll find yourself not just appreciating the food and drink, but sympathise with their life stories as well.
At the newly relocated NOX, now on hip and happening Club Street, that amazing, core dining in the dark experience doesn’t change. The dishes are different of course, but remains a 3-course, 12-dish Modern European tasting menu (S$88) with a touch of bold local flavours.
You can also add on a beverage pairing to complement your meal. Choose between mocktail (S$30), cocktail (S$50), and wine (S$30-S$40) options. And in similar fashion to the way the food’s served, you won’t be told what they are until the end of the whole meal.
What’s seen a more major update is in the decor and the ground floor bar area. The entrance remains dominated by black hues but now sports an impressive wooden double door. Upon entry, a dim, spacious 40-seater bar area greets you.
On one side of the space is a full-length colour-changing art wall, where every change of colour brings with it a change of visuals too. On the other side is a braille art installation – a fitting piece for the awareness-raising, perspective-shifting venue.
The bar programme is worth coming for all on its own, even if you’re not intending to dine upstairs. Cocktail maestro Sam Wong is the man behind the new drinks menu, offering seven signature concoctions (S$20 each) that are all unique in their own ways.
The Please Burst My Bubbles is a fruity and floral gin-based sour that is sure to draw attention with its mound of bubbles sitting right atop the drink. Unlike most cocktails that use one giant bubble as a way to beautify the drink or as a membrane to keep smoke contained, the bubbles here actually have flavour and adds to the sensation.
Then there’s Ignite My Passion, a tiki-style cocktail served on a plate of actual flame that they light tableside, thus the name. Photogenic and refreshing, it’s a crowd-pleaser and perfect for an easy tipple before going for more upstairs if you’re having the pairing.
But the libation that caught our attention the most has got to be the Not A Frozen Margarita. The tequila-based drink has limited servings nightly, and impresses with good use of an alcoholic slushie ball to both chill the drink, while letting the flavours evolve as the ice melts into the drink.
Whatever your choice of poison, NOX’s revamped bar menu has something for you. Though not an extensive list by any measure, each of its signature cocktails hit home in some way, ensuring there are no filler items that exist just to pad the selection.
So come for the classic dine in the dark experience, but be sure to stay for the libations too. The renewed bar is a great place to converse with your crew about the truly unique course you just had upstairs, all while enjoying top tipples in an intimate setting.
NOX – Dine in the Dark is located at 83 Club St, Singapore 069451.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.