For those who dared to dine a unique evening on dark mystery and devilishly good food awaited.

For one night only guests were invited to enter a world of glamour with a dash of horror, devilishly good food, and a sinful beverage selection. The instructions were clear – “dress to impress, head to toe in all black, this is a black-tie occasion with your very own horror twist. Think all-black suits with devil eyes, a stunning floor-length black dress with a bloody neck. Let your creativity run wild.”

At 4.30pm everyone received a text labelled “secretinfo” which read:

Should you dare to dine with us this evening, please meet under the central dome in the middle of the QVB on level 1. Look for where the Christmas tree runs through the beating heart of the building. Listen for the piano player, his tunes will lure you in. We will be waiting for you at 6.30pm. xxMsD

At 6.30pm sharp the elegant Queen Victoria Building was infiltrated with creatures of the night dressed in their finest black-tie attire. Elegant bloodthirsty witches gallantly dressed zombies, graceful walking dead skeletons in tuxedos and more followed the sound of our masked pianist playing dramatic melodies on the piano.

Guests enjoyed glasses of Yarra Burn Vintage sparkling served directly from the skirt of our Vampire Lady. They were then escorted up the grand centre staircase to level two where they walked the red carpet and entered the newly opened Esquire Restaurant. The eclectic sounds of our zombie band filled the room as guests were shown to their seats. Classic horror hits from Thriller or Superstition entertained guests during dinner.

The team at Esquire curated a special noir-inspired menu incorporating numerous black ingredients starting with charcoal sourdough, cultured butter and puffed grain. Black crackers with taramasalata, roe, carrot and coriander were paired with the new Wild Lands White wine. For entrees, they enjoyed beautifully plated pieces of bonito, horseradish, cream fraiche, peas, black rye, bull’s blood and flowers served with the rich and buttery Houghton Wisdom Chardonnay.

For mains share plates of Game Farm corn fed chicken stuffed with sweetbreads, oloroso sherry, baby onions, black cabbage and squid ink maccheroni with prawn, chilli, green olive and tomato sugo were paired with Wild Lands Red.

Dessert was a theatrical event as the chefs poured flaming Mr Black liqueur on each individual bombe Alaska with banana, dulce de leche, passionfruit and black sesame. To match dessert the bar team created a special Mr Black cocktail called “Numero Uno”- a delicious combination of Mr Black Cold Drip Coffee, Pedro Ximenez, banana, coconut and chocolate bitters, served up with burnt toffee banana chip in a martini coupe.

As guests finished dessert our possed snake charmer moved around the room offering photo opportunities to anyone who dared to go near the deadly snake (ok it wasn’t really deadly, it was actually an extremely friend (and safe) pet snake named Beatrice who wasn’t dangerous at all but did scare a few guests).

To help everyone dance the night away a round of Mr Black Old Fashioned cocktails were sent out featuring Mr Black Cold Drip Coffee, rye whiskey, orange & chocolate bitters served over Bare Bones ice & orange zest.

Our inaugural Diner en Noir was a dead-set success. We plan on turning it into an annual event so watch this space in 2020.

View all of the photos from the event here.