In the age of Instagrammable food, Hyderabad-based chefs talk about the need for presentation and good plating
Treat to the eyes
You know how we drool the minute we see our favourite food on its way to our table? Did you know we are deliberately made to feel that way? A lot of effort goes into making food look lip-smacking and mouth-watering. This, for the obvious reason of making you want to have more of it.In the day and age of Instagrammable food, the need for presentation goes a notch higher. CE speaks to restaurants in the city to learn more about this changing trend.
Sateesh Polkam, general manager at Farzi Café, Jubilee Hills, Rd Number 59, takes us through the process of plating and says, “Chefs at Farzi ensure that every dish that goes out of the kitchen is well plated and looks good to the eye. Food presentation is the art of modifying, processing, arranging, or even decorating food to enhance its aesthetic appeal. This visual display of food matters a lot to many chefs and consumers too. Our first food experience is usually around how it looks. Then it goes to how it smells and lastly, about how it tastes.” He adds, “At Farzi, we try out a lot of new techniques to keep up with whatever is trending. Right now, liquid nitrogen and sauce splashing techniques are our chefs’ favourite, among all. It plays a major role as it gives customers a unique gourmet experience and adds value to their dining experience.”
South Indian food too, has been raising the bar when it comes to presentation skills, which wasn’t the case earlier. Anna Native at Sainikpuri has become the talk of the town for its unique style of plating. Ilmas Baig, head chef at the restaurant, shares how presentation is taken very seriously at Anna Native, “Our major focus lies on mixing authentic food with the art of modern plating. We decide how a particular food item must be presented based on the ingredients that go into the making of the food. We don’t use things that are not part of the original dish.”
For example, if they’re making Gongura Paneer Tikka, they present it using a dehydrated gongura leaf on the side. “Similarly, with a couple of dishes that have coconut in them, we use shredded coconut flakes that go into the making of certain Kerala-style dishes on our menu. We also have a few dishes that go with white sesame seeds as garnishing. Recently, we have been exploring the use of micro greens where we use small sprouts and leaves that accentuate the look of the dish while also assuring you that it’s good for your health. Even the crockery used here is sourced from some of the choicest places, making it all the more fancy,” the chef adds.
Even breweries have been working on their presentation of food, Forge Breu-Hous at CBI Colony, Jubilee Hills, has been upping their plating game. Chef Shashank Arora tells CE, “At most breweries, cutlery is very basic — at Forge, we use melamine plates. So our focus is to augment how our food look, especially the main course. When someone orders a dry roast chicken, it comes with a side of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetables. We do it the French way — we use a green plate and place it at a height that enhances the way the food appears. We also use hybrid yellow watermelons which taste exactly like a regular watermelon. We play with a lot of colour on the plate by using leaves for a green colour, we use watermelons for red colour and feta cheese for some white colour. Even our dumplings we have two different shades — white and purple and also a tricoloured one.”