How much is that dinner in the window?

Where does 'fine dining' become ridiculous dining?

by Sonya Arora

How much do you spend on your dinner everyday? Being a university student, I am assuming no more than five pounds. If you are drinking, I am sure it won’t exceed more twenty to thirty pounds. Well, how about a meal for £300? I am not talking about a dinner for ten of your closest friends, but for just one person.

Danish restaurant Noma, rated as one of the world’s best restaurants, opened a ten week pop-up in Sydney at the beginning of this year, with the set meal price as £300 per person, plus drinks. This exorbitant cost did not serve to deter people from attending, as all 5,500 available seats sold out in under a minute and a half. It seems like people are getting richer and richer by the day.

Noma is not the only restaurant that creates meals with such hefty price tags. There are many examples of similar dining experiences around the world, like Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin in Singapore, Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo and Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee in Paris, to name just a few. These restaurant’s bill can put you back on average around £450 per meal.

Being a student, half my monthly expenditure, including my rent, is £300 and a hearty, filling and tasty meal can be bought in for under £5, but there are many people around the world who don’t mind spending more than 60 times this amount just to get the ideal dining experience.

In addition to the food, they are paying for the ambience, concept, décor, and service, as well as for their Facebook “check in” and Instagram posts. After all, we all want to show the world where we are and what we are eating, so what would be the point of spending so much money if we don’t even tell our entire friend’s list about it? Not to mention our tweets casually mentioning that we are dining in “XYZ” restaurant. And if we happen to bump into a celebrity, and managed to nab a selfie, well, that would be the cherry on top of a very expensive cake!

In a world where poverty is so rampant and millions of people are dying from chronic hunger diseases, I really wish that such restaurants would first do something to feed the poor, as for them, food is a matter of life or death. As a student, I am wondering what I would do with an extra £300. Blow it all in one evening on one meal? I don’t think so.

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