The concept: Dining in the dark has finally hit Hong Kong. Opened just last month, Alchemy is divided into two levels: a beautifully cosy lounge upstairs, offering a great selection of light bites and cocktails and the basement, dedicated to Alchemy in the Dark, for those seeking a little darkness with their dinners. Working with the Hong Kong Society for the Blind, all their servers are visually impaired and are experts in guiding you through the experience. We were led in a ‘human train’ from the bright lounge, through several layers of thick curtains, down to the dining area where the waiters led us to our seats and settled us down.
Into the dark: They’re not joking when they say “it’s dining in the dark”. You will find yourself closing your eyes so as not to feel like you’re straining them, and at a certain point during the meal, you’ll give up on cutlery altogether. After all, there are only so many times you can miss your mouth with your fork and poke around for any food you may have missed before you decide to feel around with your hands instead. And of course, no one is able to witness you doing this.
The food: The best part of the meal is trying to guess the food on the menu. Each course is made up of several elements, and they’re almost canapé-like, making it an endless guessing game as you feel your way through different textures. Think soup – conveniently served with straws, crunchy salad, grainy polenta and tender grilled chicken. The Alchemy menu changes every week and their surprise menu will get you really thinking about each component of the meal from the combination of flavours to the contrast of textures.
Into the light: Don’t expect to have a relaxing meal with a loved one but instead be prepared to have all your other senses heightened, from hearing every word spoken in the room, to tasting and savouring each and every part of the meal.
G/F & LG/F, 16 Arbuthnot Road, Central, 6821 2801