TABLE manners? Technically, no one gets to see anything anyway during Dinner in the Dark. So, table manners are not really required for this unique dining concept experience.

An unforgettable evening awakening the other senses sans sight, guests went through a culinary journey that challenged their taste buds in a dinner of complete darkness at Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

Diners were given blindfolds to wear, while they were to enjoy the expertly crafted four-course meal by Marriott’s Thai executive chef Chachpol Suaisom. This Dinner in the Dark last Feb. 10 wasn’t the first. However, for the second time around, this event was Marriott’s way of thanking its club members for their continued loyalty.

Serving courteously were well-trained dining guides who acted as the diners’ “eyes for the night” while everyone was seated, blindfolded, and had to rely on the dining guides for instructions, using time positions on a clock as a point of reference.

Served first was the Grilled Pork with marinated Sweet Lemongrass Mango Salad. Using the utensils was challenging but the aroma and texture helped guests identify the components in the dish. This was followed by a classic French soup—Roasted Tomato with Thyme Cheese powder, served in soup cups with a handle. Even from afar, the aroma of the sweet and salty combination of thyme and tomato was evident.

The main course was Roasted Herb Crust Salmon with Lemon Pea Mash, Roasted Onion and Saffron Cream Sauce. Delectably done, this was a perfect complement for the chardonnay. Last served was dessert: Chocolate Orange Cheesecake with Fruit Salad. For this dish, everyone was encouraged to use their bare hands instead of a knife and fork to savor the sweet even more.

After the one-of-a-kind meal, special guest Ando Ilao—a talented visually-impaired musician, enthused the night with his sweet romantic songs remarkably leaving the idea that losing sight is not a hindrance to pursue one’s dreams. Surprisingly right after, he was accompanied by Chef Suaisom as he displayed his talent in playing the guitar. Eula L. Talisic, USJ-R Comm Intern