What to Expect in a Sensory Dining Experience?

By Ihab Ou-ouda | 23, May, 2022
What to Expect in a Sensory Dining Experience?

We often hear the expression "people eat with their eyes," which is accurate at times. A sophisticated dining experience is also an artistic expression that stimulates our sensory perception in various ways.

A good chef/restaurant that knows how to impact your senses through its plates, not only your sense of taste and smell, always leaves a positive impression on you that develops into a good memory.

So, what to expect in a sensory dining experience? Let's find out what's the deal with sensory dining experiences and why they are exceptional in this article.


What is Multi-sensory Dining?

beautifully plated meal

Image Credit: Louis Hansel on Unsplash  

Multi-sensory dining is becoming a new trend among sophisticated restaurants. Instead of just having your tasty steak as the only star of the show, multi-sensory dining experts believe that sound and light are also part of the dining experience.

In other words, multi-sensory dining doesn't just stimulate your taste buds and your sense of smell. Multi-sensory dining is designed to immerse you in a trance-like experience while eating. While it's not your everyday dining experience, multi-sensory dining is one of those experiences you should try at least once in a lifetime.


What Are Multi-sensory Restaurants?

dining experience for eyes and nose too

Image Credit: Jordan Arnold on Unsplash

Multi-sensory restaurants are special because they play on variables other than a menu that tastes good to create an immersive dining experience.

While all the restaurants do their best to create a beautiful atmosphere for their clients, stimulating the senses other than taste and smell is secondary. A regular restaurant might play soothing music and light its interior to look attractive, but they don't take the multi-sensory experience to its full potential.

Multisensory restaurants go very far in their sensory immersion experience by offering a meal not only for the mouth, but also for the eyes, ears, and nose.

When you order a meal, you get the full multi-sensory package with it.


The Science of Multi-sensory Dining Experiences

is it the bacon, or the egg?

Image Credit: Gabriel Gurrola on Unsplash  

Many studies on multisensory dining have shown that sounds affect the way we perceive flavors and tastes. One good example is Professor Charles Spence and chef Heston Blumenthal's experiment in the Crossmodal Research Lab at Oxford University.

The experiment involved playing different soundtracks while the participants ate bacon and egg ice cream. The first soundtrack was the sound of bacon being fried, and the second soundtrack was the sound of a chicken. People who listened to the sound of bacon being cooked reported that bacon was more prominent and delicious, while the second group reported the taste of eggs being the highlight of the meal.

Another experiment showed that people found strawberry mousse served on white plates more delicious than the one served on black ones, even though they're the same.

Such research experiments show that subtle sounds and visuals can play a huge role in how a meal tastes. Multisensory chefs are like engineers; they design a dining experience that manipulates your perception in a way that makes eating food an immersive experience.

Since this new field in culinary art is still being discovered and expanded, many restaurants are on the frontier with their multi-sensory experiences.


Where Can you Get a Sensory Dining Experience?

fragrances combined with foods

Image Credit: No Revisions on Unsplash  

Many multisensory restaurants around the world have emerged with their immersive dining experiences.

El Celler de Can Roca in Catalonia, Spain, is one prominent restaurant in the field. They experiment with fragrances combined with meals that experiment with fragrances combined with food. One of the most important menu choices is their dancing ice cream.

Another restaurant that plays on other senses is The Fat Duck in England, which serves a menu that comes with a sensory experience. Their dish, the Sound of the Sea, comes with a full oceanic sensory experience with sounds and visuals.

Another example is Sublimotion, which is of the most luxurious places where you can dine in the whole world. Located at the Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza, Sublimotion offers a $2,000 tasting menu experience that serves 12 guests per night, no more than that.

Sublimotion is the world’s most expensive tasting menu, which includes an immersive dining experience with an ambiance that excites all of your senses.

There are many other examples from all over the world.

In Singapore, many good examples of such restaurants are all over. Restaurant Zén, Tiong Bahru Bakery Safari, the Spot, Table65, and Mythz & Myths are some of the most notable examples. All of these restaurants are unique in how they offer a multi-sensory dining experience.

If you like to grab some good brunch, check out this list of the most notable brunch cafes to visit in Singapore.

A passionate writer who enjoys writing about everything

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