All reader reviews by Ben

Dans le Noir

Great idea, terribly executed

My partner and I went last night, it was a surprise 31st birthday dinner for me, and I was thrilled when we got there. I was a little concerned in the upstairs bar, crowded with large groups of loud lads and giggling girls that it might be tricky downstairs in the dark to hear what my partner was saying or to call over our "helper".

These fears were fully founded - the people running the restuarant make no effort to impress upon you how unsettling loud noise can be in the pitch black, and as I sat on a large group table, I could barely hear my partner on the other side. The only voice I could hear well was the lady next to me who was in a similar situation. As the minutes past, the noise continued (despite some other patrons trying to sssh the crowd), it all got too much and we decided to leave. We had to call out for our blind waiter, who was also having trouble hearing in the din and mentioned he was having lots of difficulty working, and he helped us leave.

Do NOT go as a couple - this place is clearly for young, loud, groups. Do not expect to hear everyone around you - the people running this place makes no efforts to keep the noise at a reasonable volume, so it's going to be a shouting match in the dark to hear people.

As a final note, the gentleman co-ordinating the diners was wholey unapologetic about our bad experience and the unacceptable din, and almost seemed accusing as he told us it was supposed to be a "social experience" and the dark "makes noises seem louder". It may do, but it's unbearble down there when you are a small group or want any real conversation - if I want that level of noise, I go clubbing. And it wasn't a "social experience" for us, it was quite a terrifying ordeal that both of us were still somewhat upset about later, and one which the orgnaisers made no effort to reassure or understand about.

Like one reviewer said below - it's just like a ghost train at a fairground - not the upmarket, mysterious, food tasting, fun experience they market it as. Avoid.

Friday, February 08, 2008
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 0 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0


Went to this SOUTH American restuarant last night (please note the cusine type london-eating and update your cusine category !) and had some wonderful food.

Not experts in the various types of Latin american food, we ordered a couple of the Main dishes, and two of there cocktails. The cocktails were well mixed, and my Pisco sour had just the right level of "bite" for a pre-dinner drink. The main courses were good too, with a seafood style stew for my partner and a wonderful oxtail in red wine sauce and exotic mash for myself. The food was great, and I wish I'd had more room for desserts, which looked very interesting and read like they would be very tasty too.

Only things that detracted from a perfect meal where the slightly small tables for two - being over 6 foot I have to put one leg under the table, and one around the side - but this is only a minor point and shouldn't stop others from going to enjoy the good, interesting cusine at reasonable prices set in a very attractive resturant with a well lit bar, good use of mirrors and a minimal but effective use of animal masks to add rich colour to the cool surroundings. Service was quite good, with the manager / head barman offering excellent advice on both the food and drinks they serve.

Worth a visit.

Friday, March 09, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

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