There’s long been a debate about whether the loss of one sense is
compensated for by other senses. Does blindness make your hearing
better? Does deafness sharpen your sense of touch? Of course it could
all be an old wives’ tale.
However, one restaurant in America has constructed their
entire business on this very idea. Eating in silence is the latest fad
to hit the Big Apple and has received mixed reviews from avid food
journalists and enthusiasts alike.
The idea is simple – you sit down and eat your meal with
fellow customers and you say nothing at all. The purpose of this? To
help you concentrate on the experience of eating; to make you appreciate
your meal more than you would in a restaurant filled with the usual
babble of clanging cutlery and other diners’ chit-chat.
And it isn’t just New York that has built an entire dining
experience on this idea. All across Europe there are restaurants which
are encouraging ‘blind-tasting’ — essentially the process of eating an
unknown menu in pitch-black darkness. This disorientating approach is
supposed to remove all pre-conceptions about the food and to enhance the
diner’s sense of smell and taste, heightening the experience.
So which sense is the strongest when it comes to eating?
We believe that at any mealtime, food is the star of the show
and that show is an all-round cabaret for the senses — a feast for the
eyes, delicious and beguiling aromas plus flavour that dances on the
taste buds. And we’d argue that a convivial atmosphere just adds to the
experience. So while some may herald the uni-sensory restaurant; we’re
going for the complete package.
Hoby, H (2013) ‘Silence! The restaurant that wants you to eat without saying a word’ The Guardian, 10 October 2013 [online] http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/10/silence-restaurant-eat-without-saying-word (Accessed 14 November 2013)