What Makes Fine-Dining So Special? Here’s Why.

Everyone keep asking us, what makes fine-dining so unique and special that one would spend days (even weeks)  in making preparation, getting reservation or even go to the extent of doing research and comparing restaurant for that one dinner? Simply put it, the special food option, the pleasing ambiance, as well as the service they provide.

Fine Dining Night Out

Fine-dining are usually favoured by people who wishes to celebrate a certain event in their life, like proposal, anniversary, reunion or what not. Therefore, it’s very important that the food, service and atmosphere are ideal to the event. Fine-dining restaurant will usually assist in such arrangement and make sure that nothing can go wrong.

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Most fine-dining restaurant provides a limited option on their menus and will have their menu change annually. In addition, fine-dining restaurant also have daily specials and recommendation for their customer. These service help assist customer in making decision and sorting out the difficulties of going through a huge list. This practice of changing menu allows the restaurant to set their menu according to the season and enabling them to obtain the freshest ingredient available at that time. Coming up with new dishes regularly will surprise their customer and always seems anew to them, making them want to come more. The unique choice of dishes is what makes a fine-dining restaurant stand out among the others. To add a little spark to it, wine and other alcoholic item are also essential in a fine-dining restaurant. Having the knowledge of which wine to pair with which specific dishes will add more points to the whole experience.

Wine for all?

The ambiance and theme of a fine-dining restaurant are usually classy and soothing. The food concept, decoration, music and even the tableware go accordingly to the theme. In most fine-dining restaurant, their decorations are usually more into traditional styles incorporating candle lights to strengthen the atmosphere. The lighting and the background music also plays an important role in amplifying the overall fine-dining experience for the customer. The lighting is usually set at a dim and relaxed level which may create a romantic atmosphere or simply a calming environment along with the classical instrumental music.

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In a fine-dining restaurant, the customer service provided is also at its finest. The waiter will not just only be there to take your order or just to deliver your food, but they will always be there to assist you whenever you need. Fine-dining assistance consist of escorting the customer to their table, leading them to the washroom, describing the dishes and ingredient in details, changing the customer linen serviettes and serving the food and refilling whenever it’s almost done. The server in the fine-dining restaurant has to be highly skilled and knowledgeable in such field to provide the best assistance to their customer. 

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Dress Code? Am I Overdressed and Under-dressed?

Business meetings, classy dates, reunion, or even just a simple dinner, you would like to look your best in all occasion. You know, because appearance matters, our dress code will define our social status, personality, mood, or even attitude toward certain matter on that day. Not only does it give others a hint on who we are, but also shape their perspective and will have an impact on their behavior throughout the process.

On our previous article here, what you have read here today can be one of the greatest topic for you and your partner as well! So, to avoid putting ourselves in that situation by first knowing the restaurant dress code and theme. Fine dining restaurant usually categorize the dress-code into 5 type, which is casual, business casual, casual elegant, formal, and jacket required.


Casual

In fine dining restaurant, their definition of casual is no ordinary simple tee or singlet that you wore at your lawn or garage, but something that’s smarter or proper looking for the occasion. The casual dress code that one should wear in fine dining is smart casual, preferably those with collar. A simple button-down shirt or a polo will be perfect for the job. To match the whole, go with a pair of fitted jeans and brogue/deck shoes. The key for casual fine dining dress code is neat, simple, and smart.


Business Casual

If you’re looking forward to a business related dinner or find it necessary to dress more professionally than just a tee with pair of jeans, you could go with a business casual attire. Business casual dress code is very simple and straight forward; it requires the diner to dress in a set similar to office wear while not entirely formal. Business casual themed restaurant wants their guest to dress professionally in a neat yet relaxed attire, while at the same time not having the need to overdress themselves. This theme allows the guest to feel more at ease compare to the tip-top fine dining atmosphere.

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Casual Elegant

The other type of dress code for fine dining is the casual elegant. This dress code is quite similar to the business casual but with an additional spark of personal adornment. Restaurant with casual elegant dress code allow their female guest to dress in a more exposing dresses compare to the business casual. Jewellery, purse and bolder make-up that adds attractiveness to the female guest is the noticeable difference. As for men, the casual elegant dress code open up more option like brighter or stronger colour attire compare to the dull and simple business dress code.


Formal

In some of the tip-top fine dining restaurant, it is necessary to wear formal just to dine in. These restaurant standards are at a whole new level; so don’t worry that if you’ll ever overdressed, just worry about being underdressed. The formal dress code requires the guest to be in their best looking dress or suits, and your usual business casual just won’t cut it. The formal dress code can even go to the extent of requiring the men to wear tuxedos and women to wear long dresses.

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The Jacket Required

The fifth and also the last is the jacket required dress code. Restaurant with this dress code usually expect their guest to wear formally with the addition of the men wearing a matching jacket. Women may also include a matching jacket that adds more into their dresses elegance.

The Jacket Required

 

Some may think that dressing up just for a dinner is absurd and unnecessary. However, it’s a way that the restaurant wants to convey their theme to their guest. They aim to bring a luxurious and first class experience to their guest, away from their ordinary live setting by having the dress code to match with the ambience and the culinary. The dress code is necessary as it enhances the dresser esteem, making them feel extraordinary in that occasion.

Wine Testing 101: Basic Guide to Wine Tasting

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In this article, we’re going to explore more about wine, which can help you extend your knowledge on this or as a conversation starter. In the industry there are certain rules varies in different countries or region, however there are certain vital rules of tasting etiquette that you can follow. Wine tasting is classy but it can be fun and interesting at the same time.

Learning the basics of tasting will undeniably maximize the experience of drinking wine. Here’s a few fact or guidelines that you can follow, be it at a tasting event, liquor store, party or fine dining.

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1. Observe the drink around the edges when it is served. Remember to hold the glass by its stem and tilt it, to make it easier to see how the color differs from the middle to the edges.

2. Swirl the glass and sniff the wine, you can compare the fragrance this way.

3. Gently swirl the wine, this allows the surface area to be expanded, allowing the aroma to open by letting in oxygen to the wine.

4. While swirling you wine, also observe how slowly your wine flows back down to the side of the flute. Hence, you are able to observe the thickness of it. The “thicker” means it is richer, ripe and more concentrated and low in acidity which is good.

5. Hold the glass one or two inches away from you nose and breathe in. Take notice of the aroma that you smell.

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6. Take a sip and roll it in your mouth before swallowing it. This make sure that your taste buds will be fully exposed to the wine’s taste and texture.

7. Squeeze you lips (like you are going to whistle) to draw air into your mouth and breathe out through your nose. This way, you can truly detect the smell of the wine through your nose by opening the scents of the drinks to reach both your taste and smell.

8. Take a sip again, and notice the subtle differences in flavor and textures.

9. When you swallowed the sip of wine, notice the aftertaste and see how long it lasts.

10. Feel free to record your experience on the wine you’ve tasted, most tasting room offers scorecard or sheet for record purposes.

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Take note that, the four main characteristics of wine consist of its alcohol, taste, tannins and acidity. A bottle of good wine gets a unique balance of all these four characteristics. Familiarizing these considerations while tasting helps you to enjoy the bottle like a real wine connoisseur.

Top 5 Fine Dining Tips As A Sophisticated Diner!

So to put in simple, fine dining is an art. A complicated art that you can however master over the course of time. Of course there are several things that you need pay attention to. That includes every move you make, hand movement, the way you eat, even down to the “tool” (which is your cutlery since we’re talking about fine dining) and how you use it.

That said, but once you get used to it, it became more of a lifestyle and habit. During a fine dining, there are rules and regulation that you need to follow, or you’ll risk being labeled as barbaric or rude.

We sure want to avoid that don’t we? Hence, here are the 5 key fine dining tips that you should follow to be a sophisticated diner!

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No. 1 Your Tools

When it comes to fine dining; best experience click HERE, your tools such as the spoons, forks, and knives plays a very important role in fine dining. To do it right, your fork must always be on your left hand and the knife on your right. As for the spoon, it must always be on the right hand. Between every bite, the knife and fork must always be placed back on the plate. Never keep them holding in your hands. Once you’re done, cross over your fork and knife and face it down on the plate. This is also to show that you’re resting.

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Fig 1: I’m Resting Position

Oh and yes, if you happen to drop your cutleries (don’t panic it happens all the time), let them stay on the floor, they will be replaced soon by your waiter/waitress.

 

No. 2 Your Soup

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Soup, being an essential part of the meal; many people get soup etiquette wrong. When you are enjoying you soup, the bowl should never move when you drink it. Correspondingly, dip your spoon at the center of the bowl, and slowly scoop it towards the opposite end of the bowl (like scooping out). Then, one important thing is that, the spoon shall never enter your mouth completely (that would be a very awkward scene to see). You should place your lips at the edge of the spoon and drink in slowly, never making any sound or noise while enjoying you soup.

 

No. 3 Your Wine

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Wine as we know, is also an essential part of fine dining. It places an important part in every fine dining but there is also some certain knowledge on how to match the wine to your food. To know more about wine matching click HERE.

During a toast, you should never click your glass with anyone, for that is an impolite thing to do. You should just raise you glass and join the toast. Stand up when a toast is being made, unless the toast is raised for you. Sip your wine bit by bit and sporadically, because the last thing you want to do is drink too much and become drunk during fine dining. So what is the waiter/waitresses did not refill your glass? You have to control you urge to hold up your glass to ask for more. Also, never hold the glass for the waiter/waitresses when they pour you your wine.

 

No. 4 Your Etiquette

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The dining begins only when everybody at the table is served. It is important that you never start your meal before the others. When you eat, take small bites and chew without opening your mouth. Just like when you’re drinking soup, never make any noises and sound when you have food in your mouth.

If your food have small stones, bones or anything inedible, kindly remove them using your thumb and forefinger from your mouth. Toothpick can only be used after you get up from the table, not while during the meal. However, if something is stuck deep between your teeth and you’re feeling uncomfortable with it. Just excuse yourself to the washroom and try to remove it.

 

No. 5 Your Conversations

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During fine dining, conversation should never be loud. Also, depending on who you’re with, controversial topics such as politics, religion and faith shall never be brought up. Never start a negative conversation such as criticizing others, complaining, and also never make one person the topic of your conversation.

Why so? It’s all about table manners, having negative and controversial topic may ruin one’s mood to enjoy the meal, and dining with another person meaning you need to focus your attention on that person, not on others. Best way of having a fine dining is to have light hearted stress free conversation to get the best out of your fine dining experience.

To master fine dining etiquette takes time, however once you succeed in learning how to do it; complicated etiquette become an essential part of your personality.

Bon Appétit!

For those who are interested in booking any other fine dining restaurant, you can go to http://www.tableapp.com/ . We have more than 100 fine dining restaurants, why not have a look?

Disclaimer: TableApp claims no credit for any images posted in this blog/article unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog/article are copyright to its respectful owners. 

Conversation Tips during Fine Dining

As mentioned on our previous article, there are topics that can never be brought up during a fine dining session. So what topic is suitable and what is not suitable during a fine dining session? Here’s a useful list of table topic that you can refer to, till the end of the day, a pleasant conversation is the main ingredient to enhance the whole dining conversation.

Delightful Topics

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The ideal topics on the table are the ones that isn’t controversial (unless everyone there is a professional debater then feel free to go ahead), so try to have some delightful topics that keeps your dining experience pleasant. However, if you are unsure of other people’s acceptance on certain topics, try not to bring up anything that might cause someone to lose their appetite.

Conversation is a two way thing, most people enjoy sharing their stories and also hearing about yours. So don’t be a brute that doesn’t shut up. Try to spend more time listening than talking and have a pleasant back-and-forth conversation.

Food

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Well of course! You are in a restaurant, there’s menu, other people eating food, it’s basically food topic everywhere. It would be talent if you can run out of topic on food in a restaurant, if you know what I mean. It’s always good to discuss what you like about the food that you’re eating and if your partner is having the same thing, you can always comment and give in some thought on that. You can also recommend similar food from other restaurant for a different experience, impress them with your extensive knowledge of restaurant.(Psst, we can help.)

Music

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Music is generally a very safe topic at the table, you can also share your opinion on the latest hits, favorite artist, music video and etc. Besides, music are expressive, you can actually know more about a person through their taste of music. Plus point is, the conversation will be enhanced if you and your partner enjoy the same genre of music.

Fashion

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Fashion can be ranging from what you and your partner are wearing, to celebrities and high socialite’s current trend. To put it simple, fashion topic can be very wide and almost endless, from top, bottom, jewelry, hairstyle, shoes, and many more. Then again, find something nice to say instead of criticizing other’s fashion, and you might even learn some fashion tips along the conversation.


Unpleasant Topics

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One surefire way to ruin a fine dining experience is to start a negative controversial conversation. Even if you really want to start a conversation like that, the table is not the right place to do it. Negativity can actually ruin one’s appetite and that is the last thing you want to do during a meal. There is always a right place for the right thing, bar sounds like a good spot for debate, but definitely not in a fine dining restaurant.

Never sound too cocky without giving others a chance to express their opinion, 5 + 3 and 4 + 4 is also equals to 8, there’re always more than one way to do something. You don’t want to give other an impression of being arrogant; it will transform into a one sided conversation that way.

Never try to correct another person, if you think that his/her statement is incorrect, feel free to express your point of view. However, if the other person starts arguing, simply smile and change the topic.

Bragging is definitely a no-go. There is a fine thin line between being proud of your achievement and bragging, be aware of that. If you have some great idea or opinion on something, be sure to give others credit on that. Most important of all, bragging always lead to the game of one-upmanship that in the end, the only prize is a ruined dinner.

When it comes to humor, don’t be too sarcastic or make fun of others even if he/she is not around, you’ll never know if anyone there know that person or worse, they are related. In addition, if any party makes a comment that are controversial, instead of being defensive (Pro Tip: this is how debate started every single time), change the subject to avoid the conflict, and most of the time people will take the hint.

Medical Conditions

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Basically any medical conditions is forbidden at the table, especially the ones that involves body fluids (gross!); who’s going to have any more appetites with that. Of course it’s a different story if the table consist of medical professionals such as doctors and nurses that have seen it as a common thing, its best that you leave that conversation for next time. 

Age

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ESPECIALLY with women, this topic is untouchable, don’t say I never warn you. People may consider you as an insensitive person if you start this conversation. Maybe you are proud that how your appearance is too young for your age, but the person sitting on the same table might be very sensitive about this topic (ESPECIALLY WOMEN). So don’t start asking about other’s age or any topic about getting old.

Politics

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Supporter or Opposition? Left Wing or Right Wing? If the dinner is being held in honor of a political candidate or it’s for any political reason, then it’s a green light to discuss about this matter. Politics is a sensitive issues that may lead to an argument for various reason, so it’s best to leave this conversation off the dining table, if you insist of talking about it, you can always bring it to the BAR

Religion

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Religion is topic so sensitive, that people are willing to start a war because of it. Not joking, Google it up. Even when you are off dining table, it’s a must for us to respect other religion; plus, it's not even a great conversation starter. If your partner offers a prayer before the meal, be respectful and follow the lead even if you’re of a different religion. You may say your own prayer privately but you don’t have to call attention to it. Respect, easy right?


Borderline Topics

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When dining with others, it is highly recommended that you know what the others limits are. For the reason that, there are always some things that can be accepted in certain groups but not in the others. For instance, when you are dining with your best buddy for 20 years, I’m sure there is no taboo among each other anymore, but with business partner? I don’t think so. So pay attention to detail and use your judgment to define the appropriateness of the conversation topic with your partner.

Competitive Sports

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Well, it can be exciting and fun to have a favorite team and show some team spirit on the choice of your sport, but if your partner is not interested in sport or even worst, supports the opposite team, then an arguments are bound to happen.

Job Related Stuff

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Gossips, success story, idolization, bad treatment, and workplace drama; some can be entertaining, some can be depressing, it’s all depends on how you express your thoughts and feel about the topic. Plus, it's dining time, why would you still bother about work, enjoy your meal! 

Current Events

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Depending on the current events, it may be good, or bad. So the conversation flow might be driven into an uncertain way if it’s not handled properly. For instance, discussion of gruesome events or anything racial will reflects negativity during the mealtime.

Economy & Money

Money can be a sensitive issue for some people, well, even when most of the people can empathize about the price of everything, it’s never a polite thing to ask how much someone paid for something, their salary, their financial status or anything related. In short, just don’t touch on anything that is personal, it may be offensive for some people. 

Disclaimer: TableApp claims no credit for any images posted in this blog/article unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog/article are copyright to its respectful owners. 

Choosing wine at the restaurant….like a real conoisseur !

May it be in couples’ lives, in clothing, or in a job interview, everything is about matching things together.
Wine is no exception, it’s even one of the fields where matching matters the most. While a good match between meal and wine can create delicious flavours, a mismatch would turn the value added of the wine into a dreadful experience. A mismatched wine can overemphasize or overwhelm some of the food’s taste, but it can also create a new unpleasant taste.
But do not worry, TableApp team is here to teach you the basics of matching !


Red wine: Strong taste for meat and cheese.

Due to its strong taste and its astringency (red are normally very tannic wines), red wine cannot be drunk with every meal. Although through all the spectrum of red wines some can be suitable for seafood due to their light taste, red wine is generally drunk with strong tasting meals.THE perfect match

Therefore, when ordering red meat, chicken or with cheese, order red wine as a side drink.

Depending on the location of the wine producer and the year, the wine will taste different, and you should associate it with food accordingly.

If you want to drink white wine, find another dish, as the white wine would seem tasteless after cheese or meat in sauce dishes.

Tip: Cheese go perfectly well with French Gamay


White wine: Oysters, Foie Gras and Desserts
 
White wine, although the range of wines belonging to this family is extremely large, is generally of a less astringent, more acid taste, and suits well dishes that require a fine palate such as seafood and fish. When a red wine would overwhelm the food taste, white wine generally suits it perfectly.

White wineThe taste of white wine can differ significantly according to its percentage of sugar: A dry (“sec” in French) wine is very low in sugar (this is the type people commonly refer to when speaking of white wine), and gets along well with fresh oysters while a so-called soft (“moelleux”) wine is generally consumed at the aperitif, before the dinner starts, with foie gras and fig jam toasts for instance.

White wine can be ordered with any dessert, but it should not be too sugary.

Tip: For a more distinguished drink with fresh oysters, brut Champagne can replace the dry white wine.


Rosé: Aperitif with friends

Rosé is the kind of wine that is not generally considered suitable for a “real” dinner. Rosé (the name comes from its rosy colour) is supposed to be drunk when having some pre-dinner snacks (the so called French aperitif) with friends.
Although sophisticated Rosé do exist, Rosé is thus generally meant to be a casual beverage. Please pay attention that genuine rosé must be made out of red grapes, and not out of a blend of white and red wine.

Tip: Unlike Red but like White, Rosé is better drunk very cold (7 to 12°C)!


The basic know-how of wine-meal matching is a very important part of the Latin food culture, and is notoriously unavoidable in Italian, Spanish and French cuisines. For sure, avoiding the mismatch mistake is very important, but the foremost expert is still the sommelier, so do ask for his recommendations while making your order.  


Bon Appétit !