The whole affair of fine dining can be synonymous with a theatrical play. Starting from how the tables are set and the way the menu is laid out to how swiftly the waiters move around the restaurant and how you can actually experience a Remy’s Ratatouille moment when you get what you ordered.
But why is fine dining so expensive? Will I be judged, if I don’t wear a jacket to that posh restaurant? Do I have to necessarily order wine? Why are the dishes on the menu so complicated? Is fine dining even popular anymore?
Let’s clear this mysterious affair.
A Multi-Sensory Experience
A dinner in Singapore or anywhere around the globe in a fine dining restaurant is not just a treat for your mouth, but for your eyes too. Naturally this doesn’t include all your other senses. The concept of neurogastronomy comes into live action when eating at a fine dining restaurant. What you hear – ambient sound; touch – how the cutlery feels; see – beautifully presented dishes; taste – how the food melts in your mouth; smell – the aroma of beautiful food and surroundings. All together come into play, creating a unique dining experience.
A pink strawberry dessert will taste sweeter on a white round plate than a black square one.
Food is proven to taste much better on heavier china than on any other kind of cutlery.
Fine dining utilises such points to make the dining experience more interesting. And let’s say often expensive. A fine dining restaurant has the capability and aims to create that one meal magic that would be just priceless.
Your Dish is an Art
There is a lot of chaos that happens in the kitchen of an expensive restaurant. We can say that the kitchen chaos is similar to what you may see in Michelin Star chef Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. A sudden flame reaching from the fan to the ceiling may be that special something that makes your exquisite dish. You might find dishes on the menu that could have taken 48 hours of preparation time. Take for example the Michelin Star Chef Phil Carnegie’ Croquant – his trademark chocolate and hazelnut croquant with a popcorn sorbet. If you carefully try to deconstruct its recipe at your home, you will see that there are at least a 100 things that could go wrong.
Fine dining restaurants are the places where you would find creative cooking at its best. With even more exciting and interesting food and beverage trends developing around the world, you could find the best of fruit flavoured caviars at such restaurants.
Fine Dining is Healthy
There is a good reason to why the portions might be small and slightly pricey. It is known that eating multiple kinds of food types in smaller quantities is the healthier way to go. The meals at expensive restaurants can often have nine courses or more. But the entire meal would be a combination of different food types. The right amount of fruits, vegetables, and meat paired with the correct wine or beverage, finishing with the perfect dessert, may actually as healthy as it can get.
Often regarded as somewhat stiff, fine dining is a treat for a healthy lifestyle with the right ounces of ingredients to spoil you just a little. Stretching out smaller portions of healthy food throughout your day and you can dine fine every day. How about that for a healthy lifestyle?
However, it is an ongoing debate that smaller portions are also a consequence of the new dining culture. With changing times, tasting menus are becoming more prevalent across restaurants. It’s more about the overall atmosphere than a full-fledged meal – an experience rather than just a meal.
Cutlery is Easy
It can be intimidating to see the entire set of expensive cutlery lined up neatly, as you reach the table in a fine dining restaurant. Simply keep this rule of thumb rule in mind – start from outside to inside. It isn’t rocket science after all. Based on what you order, some of the cutlery would be removed. That is an easy way to remember fine dining etiquette, right?
The Waiter is Your Friend
It is a common notion that the waiters and attendants at expensive restaurants can be somewhat snobbish. That’s not entirely true, but rather prejudice. They are your compasses to guide you through your multi-course meal and make sure you get the best dining experience. The sommelier, the commis, and chef de rang are multiple members of staff meant for each table to ensure you get the best. You can leave your order up to your attendant and get ready to be surprised – in case you are unsure.
Fish Without the Wine is Poison
A sommelier is there to help you pair your food with the perfect wine. Don’t be afraid of textures and flavours. The correct pairing of wine can heighten the taste of the food in your mouth. Starting with a dry aperitif or cocktail, move towards the old classic French wines that would complement the flavours of your dishes.
More than just Cuisine – Mind the Pets Though
It is clear that fine dining is not just about the food, as there are numerous elements involved. Ever since the inception of the fine dining concept, after the French Revolution in the 1700s, it has become an intricate part of contemporary culture in an evolved form. From TV shows that have hour-long lessons on crafted food to master chef competitions around the globe – cuisine and culture intermingle and take a modern twist. Even pets have gourmet restaurants around the world, like Cat Café in Paris and Pet’s Deli in Germany. Whether that is a good idea or not, will remain questionable. Fine dining is nonetheless embedded in our lives for another 300 years for sure.
Fine dining in Singapore is just as interesting as in any other country. Be it a Michelin Star chef, a private chef for hire or a fine dining signature event – the signs are looking good. A classic European dinner in Singapore with canapés, salmon, foie gras and more is no problem. Simply get a private chef at home for fine dining in Singapore.
Fine dining is an experiment for your senses and a catalyst for transformative power of cooking. Find out where it can take you.