Plates shrink and meats soften – all thanks to Facebook and facelifts
Dining out is closely related to individual lifestyles and the key elements of food – the menu, ingredients, preparation and presentation – are counted when appreciation of the food is taken into consideration.
Chefs at three leading hotels in the Ratchaprasong area – the InterContinental Bangkok, Renaissance Bangkok and Novotel Bangkok Platinum – agree that the latest trends in metropolitan food are smaller portions, “comfort food”, heath and wellness, and “soft food”. SMALL PLATES Trying many delicious dishes is a city lifestyle trend that allows diners to enjoy savouring and sharing delicious dishes among friends or uploading the photos to their social networks. Restaurants have embraced this trend by reducing each serving to a portion that will allow diners to add a variety of dishes to their meal. In addition, new dishes are also created to give them greater choice of food.
Francesco Bettoli, chef de cuisine at Grossi Trattoria & Wine Bar, InterContinental Bangkok, has created Risotto with White Asparagus and Crab to fit this trend. To prepare this Italian dish, premium quality rice is stir-fried with a creamy sauce before the savoury concoction is topped with crabmeat and decorated with fresh asparagus sourced from a famous farm in the Italian region of Friuli. The creation is noted for its smooth taste and the tempting aroma of the fresh cream sauce that goes perfectly with the crabmeat, and the crispness of fresh asparagus.
City lifestyle can often land one in a string of business meetings from morning till evening, which makes it necessary to look for meals that are easily prepared and consumed. The one-dish type of meal is therefore a solution that fits well with any meal time – breakfast, lunch or dinner – and also provides all the essential nutrients as well as pleasing taste and interesting choice of dishes. Fabio Polidori, executive sous chef at La Tavola & Wine Bar, Renaissance Bangkok, has created a signature healthy dish that is easy to prepare and keeps mealtimes short. Squid Ink Cappellini, Sauteed Crab, Saffron, Lime, Spring Onion has the pasta topped with minced crab meat and a sauce made with slices of lime, saffron and spring onion.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
A major trend that all three celebrity chefs unanimously foresee growing across various groups of city dwellers is staying healthy by achieving a good balance between work and health. More and more people are embracing a variety of activities for recreation and health. These include ones that ensure healthy diet and staying in good shape. Food that fits into this trend spans across dishes that contain vegetables, lean meats and fish, which is especially rich in easily digested proteins, as well as whole grains that undergo minimal polishing process, which makes them rich in nutrients, fibre, vitamins and minerals. High-vitamin fruits such as orange and berries also help promote good health and skin appearance.
The last trend on the rise stems from the glamorous appearance of Korean and Hollywood stars, which led to the popularity of surgical techniques to achieve desirable facial aesthetics, such as orthodontics and Botox. As a result of multiple surgeries, chewing can be a concern. You have to avoid hard, rubbery food to reduce the workload on the jaws and keep the facial outline beautiful. Based on this behavioural observation of consumers, “soft food” has become a trend to watch. In addition to the melt-in-your-mouth feel right at first touch on the tongue, the food offers easy digestion and quick absorption of the nutrients. Somkiat Buranachakon, executive chef at Novotel Bangkok Platinum, has redefined soft food that melt in one’s mouth with his creation of On Lemon Mascarpone Risotto and Green Vegetable
The risotto gives the soft touch and smooth taste of fine salmon combined with the light feel of the fresh cream. It is served alongside broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus to complete the dish with palatable taste and freshness of the vegetables.