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Eating in the dark
Eating in the dark
Shedding some light

The dark side of 604

Thursday, May 6, 2004
David check’s out a restaurant in Melbourne that is slightly on the dark side. An eating experience you’ll never forget!

The concept of dining in the dark began in Zurich in 1999, started by a blind man. The idea sprang from dinner parties held in his home and has spread to Germany, France, the US and now Australia.

The gist of it is that you temporarily lose one sense, your sight, which enhances your taste and smell senses. Focus is more than ever on sensation and conversation.

Restaurant sounds are more obvious — the pouring, scraping, chopping, cutting and chatter.

Food choices are made in the illuminated foyer and you are then led into the eating area by a waiter wearing infra-red goggles. There is a ban on mobile phones, smoking, torches, matches, cigarette lighters and luminous watches, just to keep everyone honest. Those needing to visit the toilet are led by a waiter to another part of the building where, mercifully, there is light.

The owners say the restaurant is elegantly decorated, with beautiful curtains and linen tablecloths, but they use tumblers instead of wine glasses.

The chef spends as much time on food preparation as any good chef — his kitchen is lit — but when it is served no-one knows how it looks. A lot of diners choose to eat with their hands, even though a protective bib is provided. They probably figure that if no-one can see them, their manners (or lack of) won't be criticised!

Singalongs are encouraged and staff like to play harmless practical jokes on diners.

Families and friends of the vision-impaired attend the restaurant to better understand the disability.

Interstate visitors can enjoy dinner at Dark Side of 604 and overnight accommodation at The Oaks Group of Apartments on St Kilda Road.


St Kilda Road, Melbourne


The Dark Side of 604 main meals start at $20. They open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.
Accommodation and dinner costs $230 a couple.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

The Dark Side of 604
604 St Kilda Rd
Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 8530 1850
Fax: (03) 8530 1811

Qantas: 13 13 13

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