Thursday, May 7, 2015
NOX – Dine in the Dark @ North Bridge Road
As digital technology pervades almost every facet of our lives, we has somehow forgotten to live in the moment. We might tend to use a lot of our sight, but neglected other senses such as the smell, the taste. NOX – Dine in the Dark, located at North Bridge Road, will thus take you on a culinary journey , in total darkness where your taste, smell, touch and sound can be fully engaged.
Their lounge area is quite simply decorated with a touch of industrial design at their bar counter. Once we have settled at their lounge area, their drink list was being given to us for a starter drink. It is quite an extensive list, with their signature cocktails, classic cocktails, wines and non-alcoholic drinks. We were told that apart from wine and water, no other drinks are to be brought into to accompany our meals so as to prevent our taste buds being messed up by the concoctions. For safety reasons, no hot drinks as well.
We had Ignite My Passion and Classic Berries. As you can see, not just the taste, they do pay attention to the way the signature cocktails are being presented.( And this is also one of the reasons why you shouldn't bring their signature cocktails into the dark when you can't see anything!). The cocktails are each specially concocted to refresh our senses, and it works really well for me. As we sipped away our drinks, the staff briefed us on the concept and what to expect from our dining experience.
An amuse-bouche was served soon after- Hamachi with Salmon Roe, to give us a little hint on what they got to offer. Before heading upstairs to the dining area, we are required to place all belongings that produce light (such as mobile phones of course ) in a locker by the lounge. This is to ensure that nothing should go between you, your food, and your dining partner.
Once our table was ready, we were introduced to our guide who will be the one taking care of us throughout our dinner. So we put our hands on each other's shoulders, and up we went to our dinning room. I was kinda excited as we slowly made our way into the darkness. I felt my way around the table as our guide directed us to the placement of our cutlery, glasses and drink. Somehow, even simple act such as pouring the water from a huge bottle to the glass was thrilling for me.
Smell was the first to hit when our guide brought our appetisers close to us. Presented in 4 delicate sources placed in a cross shaped, we were advised to start from the 6 o'clock direction, and slowly eat our way in the clockwise direction. Intuitively, I held the source close to my nose and inhale deeply the whiff of aroma that diffused out . I do that on my daily meals too, and I know some don't. To me, it really helps to accentuate the taste of the food. Without being prime by the appearance of the food, every dish is like a little surprise. Although a couple is a little too greasy for but each has its characteristic. The moment I put down my fork, I was already looking forward to what comes next. Do not worry about having to slice the items as the ingredients have been more presliced to give you the ease of eating them in the dark. Just a fork and you are ready to go.
Again, main courses are served in 4 portions and to be eaten in the clockwise direction. Every portion showcases a different kind of meat, each with their own distinctive texture and taste - one is fatty and rich with flavour that spread out in my mouth, another that is buttery, one is crispy and moreish, while the next is mixed with mashed buttery potatoes. As I always love assortment, this works very well for me indeed.
Desserts are divine. I love their Tiramisu, which is one of the best that I ever had. We started with one that was refreshingly tangy, which cleared our taste buds immediately to get them ready for all other desserts that follows.
After our desserts, we were ready to go downstairs to the lounge again. We were given a form to write down our guesses on the food. Shortly after, the staff came over and presented us with pictures and descriptions of what we had eaten earlier. OMG! I couldn't believe that I had actually mistaken foie gras as brinjal as one of the appetiser! The ethically sourced foie Gras was seared and paired with dried figs and gorgonzola sauce. So I was quite accurate on the 4 main courses, which consist Wagyu beef, Crispy Pork Belly, Cod Fish and Duck. The Wagyu Beef and Cod Fish are my favourite. I learnt that the menu is created specially by head chef Desmond Lee, formerly from some of Singapore's highly-acclaimed restaurants including Ember, Braise, as well as Private Affairs, which explains the kind of cuisine here offers. The chef has used very fine ingredients, despite not being able to plate it for us. That, I think is a challenge for the chef, to create dish that we can picture it in our mind.
Thinking back, dining at Nox is somehow amusing. It was indeed when the conversation between my partner and I started to revolve around food and food only. It is not peculiar as we do that at times but certainly elevates the overall dining experience. It heightens our mindfulness about the food hence we are able to direction our full attention to its smell, taste, and feel without first colouring it with our lenses. I feel the memory could be an even richer if the dining process can be longer. Perhaps, it can be make more challenging and memorable by having us to slice the food ourselves. Although I do find the dining experience a little thin for such a great concept. It has a lot of potential in reaching deeper into its customers.
If you are keen to try, please let them know if you have any food restrictions or allergies so that they can tailor your menu accordingly. As a dinner only restaurant, it is now opening its doors to welcome the lunch crowd on Mother’s Day, 10th May 2015. NOX – offering a luxurious 2-course (S$68++) and 3-course (S$88++) Mother’s Day Set Lunch from 11am – 3pm, inclusive of a complementary glass of sparkling wine, coffee/tea, and petit four to go along . In addition, mothers dine for free with every 3 paying guests!
Photograph and written by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
NOX – Dine in the Dark
269 Beach Road
Tel: +65 62980708
Nearest MRT: Bugis (DT Line, EW Line), Nicoll Highway (CC Line)
Mon-Fri: 6pm to late
Sat: 5pm to late
Sun: 5pm to 11pm
1) Alight at Nicoll Highway MRT station. Take Exit A. Take the overhead bridge, walk to the end of the bridge. Walk to the traffic junction of Beach Road and Jalan Sultan. Cross the road. Continue walking down Beach Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Bugis MRT station. Take Exit D. Walk to the traffic junction of Beach Road and Rochor Road. Cross the road. Continue walking down Beach Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]