Review: Dining In The Dark @ C'est Bon (Brisbane)

'Dining In The Dark'
Luisa is a travel, food and entertainment writer who will try just about anything. With a deep love of culture, she can be found either at the airport, at QPAC, or anywhere serving a frosty chilli margarita.

For anyone who has ever seen the episodes on 'MasterChef' when contestants have to guess what they’re eating blindfolded, you’ll know it’s hard!

Many who claim to have a refined palate fall at the first eyes-closed hurdle. This 'Dining In The Dark' experience is a great opportunity to pit your own tastebuds against those of your loved ones over a three-course meal in an exquisite, intimate setting.

'Dining In The Dark' is a unique experience. C’est Bon almost has an old world speak-easy vibe, and guests are ushered down a long wooden panel-lined corridor before entering a cosy candle-lit dining room (fake candles, for obvious reasons – no one wants blindfolded patrons to accidentally burn their restaurant down). They are then presented with a signature cocktail and amuse bouche, before being handed a drinks menu to select from for the rest of the meal. Then, once all this housekeeping is concluded, diners are invited to tie on their black silk blindfolds – let the tasting being!

The exclusive menu is created by, and hosted in, C’est Bon in Woolloongabba, a modern French restaurant in the historic quarter of the inner-city neighbourhood. Diners can choose from meat, seafood or vegetarian menus, and prioritise locally sourced. The menu is clearly French-inspired, but all dishes have a creative twist, such as a dessert that highlighted an ingredient popular in the head chef’s native New Zealand.

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It's the twists which keep diners on their toes, and trip up the self-professed foodies. Between each course, the host leads a discussion on what diners thought they had just eaten. While not revealing any specific dishes, when asked their thoughts, the carnivores shout out: brisket, beef, duck, quail and lamb – all referring to the same hunk of meat on their plate. Seafood eaters claim they had been eating mussels, eel, and kingfish, while the vegetarians more or less hit their mark. The whole menu is revealed at the end of the meal.

'Dining In The Dark' is really entertaining, interesting and revealing. One guest proclaims that she hated a particular dish, but found it quite tasty when she didn’t know she was eating it. Another man is adamant that he knows every ingredient, only to be confounded and proven quite wrong with each course. Many people can’t guess a single thing, but enjoy their meal just the same. We seem to have a lot of prejudice when it comes to food – what we like, what’s fancy – and taking away that first step of 'eating with your eyes' can reveal a lot about which tastes you truly enjoy.

'Dining In The Dark' is a fantastic experience, and a real hoot! The food is delicious, the host highly entertaining and the venue charming and atmospheric. It is the perfect choice for an out-of-the box date night, or a catch up with a twist. You’ll have loads to chat about in this unpretentious, light-hearted foodie treat.

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