Website design By BotEap.com“Do you think you will be able to enjoy this experience with your friends in Brisbane?” I asked Jane who was visiting from Australia. She sat next to me, but I couldn’t see her because the room was completely dark, like “I can’t see your hand in front of your face.” Website design By BotEap.com“Absolutely,” she replied. Website design By BotEap.comDine in the Dark is an innovative restaurant in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that creates the experience of what it is like to eat like a blind person. Phones, watches, and anything else that can produce light must be delivered in a locked box in the lobby. Food options are Western, Khmer, and Vegetarian. Grant, Jane and I ordered Khmer. Nick, who is Khmer, went Western. Then Joe, our waiter / guide, introduced himself. We later learned that he became blind three years ago from chickenpox. Website design By BotEap.comThe manager made me put my hand on Joe’s shoulder and the others lined up behind me. There is no problem slowly walking up the stairs behind Joe. Then we go through a heavy curtain. When it closed behind us, we were in total darkness. My initial reaction was a touch of claustrophobia, but as I entered the room, the feeling subsided. Website design By BotEap.comJoe walked us to our table. “Sit here,” he ordered me. I grouped myself together and couldn’t understand it. Was it a bar stool he was feeling? No, it was the back of the chair. Once seated, I felt around the table. A napkin with spoon and knife on the right. The fork was on the left. “There’s a glass for water and one for wine,” Joe commented as he filled them. Website design By BotEap.com“There are actually two small tables together,” I announced, pleased to feel more comfortable with the environment. “That makes sense, since that way they can organize them for groups of different sizes.” Website design By BotEap.comGrant suggested that we clink glasses in the middle of the table to get cheers. Jane was a little apprehensive at first, but Nick and I managed to connect. There is something about a toast that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Website design By BotEap.comThe first of three courses on the $ 18 set menu arrived. Another part of the experience is that you don’t know what you’re eating until the end of the meal when the photos are shown on a tablet. Great salad. I insisted that it was mango, as it is popular in the Kingdom of Wonders, as Cambodia is known. Wrong. It was actually milk fruit. Amazingly, I did it without dropping everything on me, Khmer style with spoon and fork. Website design By BotEap.comThe next was the main course. “Chicken, it has to be chicken.” That assumption only got a 50 percent mark, as it was actually a small serving of chicken with rice and another of meat with rice. Website design By BotEap.com“It’s interesting,” said Grant, a retired physician, “that it’s totally dark, but I still see little white specks floating around.” The rest of us mutter in agreement. There was no point in nodding as no one could see anyway. Website design By BotEap.comDessert was a fruit plate. “There’s more food on the plate, too,” Grant said. As I felt around, I managed to get my fingers covered in syrup. I licked them because I couldn’t think of anything else to do, although I suppose I could have put them in my glass of water. Website design By BotEap.comAt the end of the meal, we lined up behind Joe and they ushered us back to the world of the seers. Staying in the world of the blind was an interesting experience, but you wouldn’t want to live there.