Coast Cooking

Observe, smell and taste test will help determine the quality of a restaurant

Executive Sous Chef James Balster (Beau Rivage), concentrates on plating a beautiful dish at BR Prime.
Executive Sous Chef James Balster (Beau Rivage), concentrates on plating a beautiful dish at BR Prime. Special to the Sun Herald

There can be a good bit of leeway in most of the categories we have examined in this week’s blog posts about evaluating restaurants.

You may not like the decorum of a restaurant, but that would hardly keep you from going back if the food is good.

Today, we’ll focus on the plate that is placed in front of you.

Take a good look at the plate that was served to you. Was it carefully plated, paying attention to colors, structure and balance? The visual aspect of enjoying good food cannot be overstated.

So, give your food a discreet whiff. The aroma should be pleasant and enticing, otherwise it can ruin the experience.

Lastly, taste your food, and do rush it. Take a small bite and give it a good thought. Is it salty, sweet, sour, hot? Are there contrasting textures? How do the different ingredients pair in the dish? Is there harmony or disharmony?

I am not trying to overthink this process, but if you really want to enjoy your meal, and you want to take an objective look at what is being served, take your time.

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