Fancy culinary skills like sous vide and molecular gastronomy took the spotlight for a while, but the time is ripe for the return of tableside service.
At 1-Altitude’s Stellar, for example, diners are treated to a performance in which pastry chef Jasmin Chew draws out their dessert on a long black slate using gold flourishes and edible flowers. While at it, she explains how each ingredient contributes to the dish – like how the bitter tang of fresh pansies balances the caramelised meringue.
“With tableside service, diners get a different perspective of what they are eating. It’s no longer just a plate placed before them,” says Chew.
Adds Julien Bompard, executive chef and management consultant of Scotts 27: “Tableside service also ensures flavour preferences are taken into account.” Scotts 27 practises classic gueridon service, where food preparation is finished and presented on a trolley in front of guests. The Beef Tartar “A la Maison”, which is done this way, allows diners to choose more or less of certain ingredients.
Bars, too, are upping their tableside service. At Operation Dagger, mulled wine is served in a siphon drip and warmed by blowtorch in front of guests. “Open kitchens are popular now, and this is an extension of that,” says Luke Whearty, head bartender at Operation Dagger. “We bring the bar to (our guests).”
They, in return, leave with an experience to remember.