14 chef- and stylist-approved tips to up your plateware game

PHOTO: Unsplash

In the age of social media, we eat as much with our eyes as we do with our mouths. Discover the dynamic plateware trends that have moved us away from severe white plates to embrace colours, patterns, textures and materials.

These chefs and stylists show how they’ve mastered the new rules of plateware, and encourage you to do the same at home.

Notes for choosing your plates

At three-month-old Revolver, a modern Indian grill revolution is taking place – think banana leaf cuisine and street food utensils translated to the fine dining table. To recreate the plateware experience at Revolver, this is what the restaurant’s executive chef Saurabh Udinia recommends:

  • Always go bespoke – head to a local potter and create your own.
  • Do some research on the designs you’re interested in, so that they’ll be unique, individualised and special to you.

How to rock your own five-star cuisine presentation

To stand out as a newly opened bar in a global cocktail capital, Republic Bar had to blaze a trail through its bold food and drink offerings. Massimo Pasquarelli, executive chef of the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, has this advice:

  • Food presentation should be approached just like art or music – it is important to find your own voice and style.
  • Think about how to create height and depth on the plate, use contrasting colours, and choose suitable plateware for the dish you have conceived.
  • Try playing with different textures, but when in doubt, simplicity is key.
  • Consider using edible garnishes that add both value and visual appeal to the dish.

Pro tips for styling a memorable festive platter

A gifting business born during Circuit Breaker, Atlas Handcrafted was the first to fashionably package food gifts on restaurant plateware, while supporting heritage food artisans in need. To make an impact on your dining guests, co-founder Mak Sin Wee’s suggestions are:

  • Cut your cheeses in triangles, and position them such that they always point inwards. Little trinkets or porcelain saucers make the platter look more expensive.
  • Use shelled nuts like sunflower seeds and pistachios to add texture to your platters.
  • Alternate the colours of the kuehs to make a rainbow wheel. Don’t be afraid to leave the kueh out at room temperature, as refrigerating it hardens the texture.
  • Think out of the box: Garnishes like nori sheets or furikake seasoning in your cheese platter give it a more Japanese-inspired feel. Or serve kueh with chopsticks for an unusual experience, treating it like nigiri sushi – and maybe serve it with a gula melaka dip.

Mastering your plateware collection

Multiple delays while trying to open after Circuit Breaker just meant that Restaurant Euphoria had more time to source for and customise its plateware. Chef and co-founder Jason Tan has this to say:

  • Go shopping when you travel, or wherever you are – you may even find a special teacup in a small stall in Chinatown.
  • Such pieces are what Jason calls “memory dishes” – using them brings back the memory of how you acquired it.
  • Use your memory dishes when you host friends for the added enjoyment of reliving your adventures.
  • You don’t have to buy plateware in sets. It’s perfectly all right, and even charming, to have different plates for each person if you’re not after a “banquet” look.

This article was first published in Her World Online.

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