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A La Carte is off the menu!
With the world’s best restaurants switching to a more sustainable tasting or sample menu option and the smaller restaurants opting for buffets, it’s definitely a switch to something better. From Michelin star restaurants globally to dinner cruises in Sydney, there’s been a palpable paradigm shift!
Both of these approaches allow for a more efficient management of time and kitchen waste, improves work predictability, saves money to an extent; ensuring smiles all around - kitchen staff, servers & diners - everyone’s happy. A la carte is now officially cancelled!
A popular option for catering for larger groups, buffets are infiltrating chain restaurants, budget establishments and novelty dining spots. Buffets have also consistently proven to be better for get-togethers for groups as everyone gets to pick how much and what they’d like to eat.
Novelty dining establishments like Magistic Sydney Harbour dinner cruise, for instance, offer budget-friendly buffet dining options. The extensive spread caters to those who love seafood (and those who don’t), those who are on a strict diet (and those who aren’t) and vegetarians too! All of this while enjoying stunning views of the harbour on a luxury catamaran!
The pros of buffets definitely outweigh the cons, especially for larger groups of people looking to dine together. It’s more often than not the more economical and value-for-money option. There’s an extensive array of dishes to suit a varied palate - whether you’re looking to experiment or play it safe.
Inspired by the French, as most things in the culinary field are, degustation/sampling menus are becoming increasingly popular. Michelin-starred restaurants started doing it, most mid-range restaurants have followed suit.
A tasting menu allows chefs to showcase their very best and exposes the diners to the creme de la creme of speciality cuisine. It is a great option to reserve a table for a gastronomical experience of this sort for a special occasion or for an intimate romantic dinner. It doesn’t necessarily make too much sense for larger groups. That being said, it depends on where you plan on dining and what their policies are regarding the same.
Not too long ago, a dinner cruise in Sydney, one on Clearview Cruises, owned by Australia’s premier cruise operator, introduced an 8-course degustation menu on their premium cruises! The seafood-inspired delicacies paired with premium beverages and 360° harbour views are a winning combination unlike any other.
Au revoir to a la carte culture
Millennials are the most critiqued generation of all time, without a doubt. But they’re definitely not just all about avocados - there’s been an apparent shift towards splurging on experiences over materialistic things. This is where we can finally bid goodbye to a la carte culture. Minimal social interaction by opting for a quick drive-thru stop for routine meals and splurging on a degustation experience. Life’s all about balance, isn’t it?