Back in February of this year, I wrote a very positive review about a relatively new restaurant in Tulum called The Dining Experience.
I don’t write many restaurant reviews; however, I made an exception in this case because The Dining Experience offered something unique that I felt many of our readers would enjoy.
Apparently, I really know how to pick ’em because they’re currently rated as #1 on Tripadvisor out of #394 restaurants in Tulum. It’s a shame I’m not as good at picking winning lottery numbers.
On the heels of their success in Tulum, the owners of The Dining Experience recently opened a second location in Playa del Carmen. They invited us to come and check it out and provide them with honest feedback about the improvements they had made to the overall experience.
Now, some folks who have a restaurant in the #1 spot might be tempted to adopt the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it mentality, but not the owners of The Dining Experience. They definitely raised the bar since our last visit.
The experience consists of multiple courses that feature the local cuisine. We thoroughly enjoyed them all, especially the lionfish ceviche and the cochinita pibil (Mayan shredded pork dish).
By the end of the evening, I had tried more than a half a dozen traditional dishes from the region and every one was prepared perfectly. You definitely won’t leave hungry.
Looking back, I should have snapped more pics but I was enjoying myself too much to think about it at the time.
Well, obviously we enjoyed our meal and experience but that fact alone really doesn’t help you decide whether this place is right for you or not. So, here’s more information about the concept and what to expect if you go.
What Is The Dining Experience?
Calling this a ‘restaurant’ is a bit misleading because it’s much more than that. It’s a highly-entertaining, adults-only, English-only, three hour gastronomic journey with multiple courses, amazing cocktails and a lot of interaction with the other guests. All along the way, you’ll learn more about the culture and history of the area.
These dinners are by reservation only. All of the guests arrive at the same time and sit together at a large table in a climate controlled dining room. The host for evening stands at the head of the table and is tasked with guiding you on your culinary journey.
Unlike most restaurants, there is no menu here. The dishes were carefully chosen to highlight the traditional food of the area and many of them are very time-consuming to prepare. If you have any dietary restrictions, it’s important to let them know that at the time you make the reservation so they’ll have time to prepare alternative dishes for you.
As I said before, this experience is very interactive. We learned how to mix amazing cocktails and then we made them for the person seated to our left. Here’s a clip demonstrating our cocktail shaking prowess:
Although we didn’t know any of the guests before we arrived, it wasn’t long before we were all laughing and having a great time together.
The whole experience took about three hours, but to tell you the truth, the time just flew by. We were still enjoying ourselves right up until the end.
Prices, Reservations and Maps
To make a reservation or to get more information about prices, locations and available dates, go to their website:
Tip: Click on BOOK NOW to see available dates, maps and prices.
Let’s Wrap This Up
If you’re looking for an entertaining and unique way to spend an evening in either Tulum or Playa del Carmen, we highly recommend The Dining Experience. You never know, you might even run into us there.