Tasting Menus have become a hallmark for several restaurateurs in the country. Whether to show off your restaurant’s ability to entice your customer’s palette or deliver an indulgent gastronomical experience, restaurant advisers agree that having a strong tasting menu at your disposal will leave a lasting impression to your customers.
More often than not, high-end restaurants make these tasting menus a defining quality for their establishments. For a fine-dining enthusiast, spending the extra on a tasting menu is a means to connect with the chef and appreciate their culinary artistry on a deeper level. However, the driving force for a Tasting Menu extends beyond the creative genius of the chef – it involves the whole machinery of your establishment; from the back to the front of house. Some Tasting Menus go as far as having a parade of 15 to 20 courses that may compromise their guests’ comfort and enjoyment. This should not be the case.
Below are 7 Do’s and Don’ts of a Tasting Menu as enumerated by several Restaurant Advisers in Dubai.
DO: Show off your Kitchen Creativity
Your tasting menu is the perfect avenue for you to showcase your Kitchen’s creativity. Since the portions will be smaller, we suggest taking the chance to use expensive, unique, and rare ingredients to your advantage- producing a harmonious course with complexity. You also have the opportunity to advertise your restaurant through your tasting menu. A good tasting menu will leave customers coming back for another round or to try out your Ala Carte Dishes.
DON’T: Forget to consider occasions
At most times, customers willing to splurge for a tasting menu are celebrating an occasion. Ensure your guest’s dining experience to be memorable. Offer special considerations during the meal. Aside from these occasions, holidays are important to consider as well. Rely on your chef’s flexibility to deliver extraordinary dishes and your front house staff to accommodate your guests with exceptionalism.
DO: Mind your pacing
Whether the courses are too far apart or coming in rapid succession, a poorly-paced tasting menu will be the boon of your establishment’s existence. Nothing is more dreadful than letting your customers wait in between courses. The meal should start right as soon as your guests are ready. For instance, your plats de résistance can be served 10-15 minutes after the appetizer. Apart from the dish itself, timing is key to an effective tasting menu.
DON’T: Overwhelm your portions
Portions vary for different tasting menus. At some restaurants, guests can choose from a 6 course to a 10-course tasting menu. A longer tasting menu has the risk of having your guests overwhelmed and feeling bloated. It is essential to portion each course meticulously, especially when using ingredients that can fill them up faster. Use heartier, more flavorful ingredients on your main dishes and gradually descend to a lighter palette for the rest. Most tasting menus offer wine pairing, consider portioning this as well to avoid the risk of getting them full in between each course.
DO: Let your servers shine
Servers are tasked to deliver each course to the table and are the ones who face your guests during a tasting menu. Ensure that they are well-trained in accommodating your guests. They should have enough knowledge about each dish being served on your tasting menu since they are tasked to explain the dishes to your guests. They ought to be able to express whatever story, emotion, or feeling, the chef is trying to convey for each dish. They hold the map for the gastronomical adventure your customers are experiencing.
DON’T: Forget to tell a story
Consider a tasting menu as a journey of experience- a chance to tell a story. Tasting menus should offer a coherent experience with each course that’s being served. Metaphorically speaking, it should have a hook- an introduction that will leave guests wanting more. Each course should be an elevating experience leading to the climax, your plats de résistance and mellowing down to your denouement, closing the course with a bright and clean palette.
DO: Review and Improve your Menu
Asking for feedback to continuously improve is a quality restaurant advisers consider as important when establishing your tasting menu. Change is the only thing that’s constant in this business. The ability to adapt to rising trends and ever-changing demands of customers is key.
Review your menu and change what is necessary. Observe your guests and ask for feedback. Constantly updating your menu is essential.
The bottom line is, a tasting menu can either make or break your restaurant. Make the most of it and highlight what your establishment can offer. You can always ask for an expert advice with our restaurant advisers. Your tasting menu may even give you the chance to earn your first Michelin Star.