When it comes to the dining experience, there is much more involved than simply the taste of the food. The shape and colour of the plate, weight of the cutlery, background music and the way food is presented all have a subconscious impact on how pleasurable the dining experience is. [Read more…]
When the winter chill sets in and darkness descends earlier and earlier each day, it’s understandable that even the most fanatical foodies could be tempted to stay indoors under a doona and order in instead of heading out to dine.
At this time of year, restaurants and their chefs need to work harder to entice them out to dine. Here are some tips to encourage patronage during the colder months. [Read more…]
There was a time, not so long ago, when dinner out at a restaurant meant an entrée, main and dessert. But that has increasingly changed in recent times, with more and more Australian restaurants embracing the share dining trend.
It’s a concept that suits the country’s easy-going nature, according to Daniel Menzies, who is executive chef at The Wilmot at Primus Hotel Sydney.
“I just think it’s a nice way of eating,” he says. “You can get together as a family or with friends and share the same flavours. It’s easy, and it’s a cheaper way to eat. It’s not going to hurt the pocket too much if you all chip in. It’s not so pretentious like your three-course meal, it’s more casual. That’s the reason people love this country – we’re so laid back.”
Menzies grew up at Cooranbong in regional NSW and believes sharing meals is a big part of country life. He previously worked at Bistro Moncur and Four in Hand, and embraced the share dining concept when he started at The Wilmot last August.
Share dishes on the menu include a 1.5kg tomahawk steak and a suckling pig. “From a whole pig you can get six portions, including the shoulder, the rib cage or leg,” Menzies says. “We usually give the customer the choice.” There’s also a large serving of calamari. “The whole calamari with two sides would serve four or five people,” he says. “You always need a nice green like greens or broccolini as a side, and potato gallette or hand cut chips.”
But Menzies admits there is one disadvantage – losing your real estate in terms of value per head. “You could go from $100 a head down to $50 a head, but the pro is you get more people through the door,” he says. “But even though they may spend less on food they may spend more on alcohol.” [Read more…]
To start off 2018, we spoke to three Aussie chefs to find out what the big trends and challenges will be. It’s certainly going to be an interesting year, with global issues driving local philosophies.
When diners at Kepos & Co. order the hummus from the menu, they are in for an experience. The Middle Eastern dip is made on the table in front of them with a mortar and pestle, before being served with taboon bread cooked in a wood-fired oven. It’s just one of many things that customers love about the eatery at Waterloo, in inner-city Sydney.
Kepos & Co. has been a winner in OpenTable Australia’s Diners’ Choice awards, based on customer reviews, every month since January. It’s an impressive achievement that chef and owner Michael Rantissi credits to honesty and simplicity. “It’s a simple environment that’s mostly about good food,” he says. “Competition is always around but if you’re more focused on your competition you’re more likely to do what everyone else is doing. We try to concentrate on what we like doing instead of what’s trendy.”