“A fine dining restaurant is a weapon”
Beginning in the 20th century, ethnic cuisine from all continents, gourmet food, organic and other forms of food art started to reflect how far food has evolved from just something that merely fulfils hunger. The author of Café & Restaurant Design, Joachim Fischer, believes that “in the 21st century, eating out has much to do with entertainment as with food.”
Fine dining is the highest priced type of restaurant one can operate offering the diners the best quality of food, service and ambience. There are few factors like menu, service, money and atmosphere that are considered while deciding a place to dine which is also the major difference between a fine dining and casual dining restaurant. Unique and upscale setting with an expensive menu is what is offered by formal dining or fine dining restaurants.
Based on developments in the restaurant industry and the definitions of luxury goods by Berthon et al. (2009), Han et al. (2010), Lee and Hwang (2011), and Nueno and Quelch (1998), a luxury restaurant is defined as a full-service restaurant whose environment (e.g., décor, atmospherics, and services) and products (e.g., food and beverages) are carefully prepared and presented, unique, superior in quality, and conspicuous.
Fine dining at Michelin- starred restaurants is guided by outstanding dining experiences that can take one from eating in a castle in Switzerland to underwater dining in the Maldives. Luxury dining restaurants no longer build on a stand-out, signature dishes instead it is now a collection which focuses on curated details of ambience, cooking techniques and fine service which delivers a holistic luxury experience.
Restaurant interiors have been designed in terms of creating spatial involvement through colour, aesthetics, seating arrangements, lighting, material and composition of a space which in turn become design decisions focusing on utmost luxury. Most experiential restaurants are designed with a theme, yet also keep in mind to provide a memorable experience to the user by provoking all five senses. There are many apps too that help us book a fining dining table and share the restaurant menu too, which is another luxury that we have these days.
Al Mahara, ‘The oyster shell’ at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai offers a dining experience that stimulates all the senses. The floor to ceiling aquarium inside the restaurant sets the scene for a meal with a sea life inspired chandelier, scalloped blue veneer panels, rock crystal pendants and gold leaf ceilings.
WHAT DEFINES LUXURY?
Luxury is in the midst of a metamorphosis. While luxury once meant the most expensive or most well-known product or experience, today it’s become a way of being or moving throughout the world.
Luxury in dining is defined by factors like attention to details which sometimes may appear insignificant, like weight of the cutlery, the sleekness of the marble bar top and the textures on the walls, but they do play an imperative role in contributing towards an overall effect of the space. Once combined together these create a crucial role in elevating the aura and feeling of sophistication and luxury for the diners.
LUXURY RESTAURANT CHAINS IN INDIA:
DUM PHUKT- ITC MAURYA NEW DELHI
“My definition of fine dine is it’s all about experience. We try to push out boundaries of techniques and not push out boundaries of guests. We are here to give people time that they will never get anywhere else,” says Chef Vikramjit Roy, Chef de Cuisine, Tian- Asian Cuisine Studio, ITC Maurya.
The restaurant creates a royal experience for the diners by recreating the legacy of and interiors of a royal mughal court. Detailing on the walls and ceilings has been done in order to make the guests feel like they have entered a royal setting. The seating is divided for vegetarians and non-vegetarians by using the concept of blue glass and green glass respectively which becomes a unique idea to serve the diners. The décor is infused with sapphire blues and silver.
SURYA MAHAL, THE OBEROI UDAIVILAS, UDAIPUR
The sun palace is a fine dining restaurant with bright interiors because of the ample amount of daylight coming through all spaces. It is inspired from the 30-s era having a colonial quality. The courtyard has fresco work which shimmers and glitters at night and because of the placement of the crystal chandelier in the centre. The marble flooring used on an octagonal space has inlay work which is a reinterpretation of the mughal artwork and their geometric patterns. The canopied tables are inspired from Mewar type seating. The restaurant has an adjoining terrace which provides sweeping views of the lake Pichola creating a completely royal and magnificent dining experience for the users.
Luxury is a resource not available to all. The design and service provided by a place mostly becomes its brand image. Judging by the trends and the pace at which these are being set there seems to be an abundant growth in the luxury sector in India.
Luxury experiences are becoming the reason for growth in the food industry and the concept of luxury is being redefined and getting familiarised amongst people where luxury is not considered materialistic rather than memorable.
In conclusion, a luxury fine dining restaurant in India is the one which provides personalised experiences to the users and what sets these experiences apart is the detailing at each and every step of the dining journey.