Being in a third world country we are so used to black outs and candle light dinners. Imagine this, you close your eyes for one and a half hours having no control of your environment. Basically for that period in time you have to rely on all your other senses to get you through life. Okay now imagine this with good food and great company. Sounds like a hoot right?
I consider myself so fortunate to have gone through such a humbling yet exhilarating experience. So last week I get an Email from Eat Out inviting me to Gizani which is Swahili for darkness. Obviously nothing like this has been done in Kenya before but what surprised me is that it was the first time they had done it in Africa successfully. I always insist that the Nairobi restaurant and dining scene is something to behold. Seriously the revolution that is Kenya, is something that I am all about, all day, everyday. What restaurants are you guys buzzing about right now? I am ready to go check them out, drop me a comment below and I will make my way there.
Master of digression, now I want to paint a clear picture of this experience. So we walk into this room with a couple of other journalists, lifestyle reporters and photographers. The hosts explain to us that under no circumstance can we have our phones on or light up watches. So if you have a G-shock kindly leave it at home, you really won’t need to know the time once you step into this room. The room is pitch black, I mean no trace of light. Close your eyes for 1 minute straight and try and get a feel of your surrounding, now imagine this for an hour and a half. The reason I say it was successful in Kenya is because they didn’t have to use uncomfortable blind folds which give you that sense that at any time you can just opt out of the entire experience.
So next thing that they told us was that the helpers and waiters were visually impaired. What! MIND = BLOWN!!!! Think about it, at some point in your life you have assisted a visually impaired person, this time they were the ones in charge and it was humbling to say the least. Getting to be in their shoes for just a little while, you get a small idea just how much you can do when you put your mind to it. I applaud the Gizani team headed by Abdul Kamar who has been visually impaired since 2008 for not only showing us that blindness is positive and that they are not helpless but also giving jobs to a part of the society that finds it very hard to get jobs.
Inspired by “Dans le Noir” in Paris this experience is all about enjoying the full dining experience through the senses. Taking us back to a time when there was no Instagram to stop us from enjoying a hot soup by taking 5 million pictures or simply enjoying the flavors in a dish. Imagine how much effort the chef would put in to flavor if he didn’t have to worry about presentation. They say we eat with our eyes before anything. Here you use your sense of smell with the surprise menu, touch to feel what you are having. Basically a sensory experience like no other.
To add to this, when was the last night you had an actual conversation with the people you are dining with, no cell phones, no unnecessary bathroom breaks because for one you are afraid of tripping and falling, though the waiters are there to help you. It’s a chance for you to actually chat with the people who you are dining with. I would actually suggest this for a first date, you get to know a person without worrying about their body language, how they chew or silly trivial things like how they can’t look at you in the eyes, you are on an equal ground. Perhaps even a family night where parents and children can get to just chat and remember what it feels like to be part of the same unit.
Sexy reader:“How much would this amazing experience cost me Jayson?”
Jay:“Well it’s 6000 Kenya Shillings for a three course dinner.”
Sexy reader:“Where is it being held Jay?”
Jay:” Tribe Hotel”
Sexy reader:”When is it and where can I get tickets to this amazing experience?”
Jay:” Well sexy reader, it’s held on Saturdays and you can log into Eat Out and make your reservation.”
Well there you have it guys. I really want you guys to try this event out. It was nothing short of wonderful and I can’t wait to hear about your individual experiences.
Have a fabulous week everyone.