It’s vanished in an avalanche of sharing plates
How on earth can Resy be predicting sharing plates when you haven’t been able to get away from them for literally YEARS! I just want my own dinner. 😫
Sharing plates undoubtedly cut restaurant food wastage. But - recently I opted for king prawns. There were 5. Our group was 4. I missed out on my choice and had to nibble away at everyone else’s.
So often "sharing plates" really aren't. A whole shortrib without means to portion and serve it isn't a sharing plate! My appetite is not what it was, so I will sometimes order 2 starters, but unless it's tapas/dim sum/mezze I don't really like the shared plate concept. I really love a shared main course though - a large pie or a whole chicken or something served family style just feels so generous and hospitable.
I like small plates (American portions are too big) but love a main course!
Who knew ordering small plates was a future trend, I’ve been ahead of the game for years 🤣
As a vegetarian I often order a selection of small plates (or often sides) as it provides more choice and I like to pick at a variety of dishes.
Although options for vegetarians have really moved on from the days of either a vege lasagne or mushroom stroganoff there are still so many places that have a very limited vegetarian menu, or now where they assume if you’re vegetarian you’re happy to eat vegan, which sometimes is great, although if I fancy a dish which includes cheese please let me decide, don’t make the choice for me!
As you mention Fiona it ends up being a pricey way to eat out and there’s often the risk you go home not fully satisfied, although I guess there’s always the excuse for pudding.
I’m sick of small plates unless offered as a starter type thing. I would like proper mains and for these to come with a carb - it’s not a main meal in my eyes if it’s just a piece of protein (or vegetable equivalent!).
I don't get how sharing plates is a 'new trend', as you say it's been a thing for upwards of 5 years, though I do get the appeal of wanting to try everything, and it does get around the food envy thing. But I also find it can sometimes result in discordant flavour combinations in one sitting. Yes, you get to taste a little bit of everything, but so often the menus aren't really put together with harmony in mind for the eater, and I often find there can be repetition of certain elements, but you have to suck that up because you really want to try a particular aspect of a dish. A recent meal at Murano really reminded me of the beauty of an a la carte lunch menu, the excitement of ordering your own main course and wondering what you're going to get, then being delighted that you get to finish the entire plate yourself...
Every time It’s a share thing, I leave hungry
I really do not want other folks dipping in to my dinner. I eat out rarely so I’m ordering food I really want to eat. If the kitchen can’t organise themselves to deliver dishes in a timely manner then they need to consider their practice.... grrrhhh!
I like both depending on the circs and the company. (My grown up sons are the worst -wolfing down before I even get a look in). Depending on the food, it's great to have more variety but this can sometimes be a bit random when dishes arrive in an odd succession.
Hi Fiona, well said and a timely topic! A friend and I met up in Borough market are of London for a brunch a few months ago but got there too late for brunch. So ended up somewhere having a few small small plates, one glass of wine each. Came to over £100! We are back to brunch meet-ups (and getting up in time!!) and don't usually get beyond £25 each. We eat loads and drink lots of coffee - and don't have to share with anyone else!! There are some brilliant brunches around - eg near me in Hackney a place called Helma - all vegetarian and fermented foods. It's really inventive - and pretty good for health too and the menu changes every month. Jeannette x
I *loathe* sharing plates. The whole point of eating out is to choose what you want, not to compromise with someone else. I hate coriander, and am preternaturally sensitive to spicy heat, so there's further tedious restrictions. Goodness knows how anyone with genuine allergies manages to make it work.
Karen and I always prefer a regular 2 courses with wine. Plus cheese to follow if we still want something… nothing sweet for us.
Much prefer a tasting menu if we want to go down the small plates route. Can recommend those at Fhior in Edinburgh (with its brilliant sommelier) and at Killiecrankie House (pair with Chinese wine!)
I have a theory that the whole share plate thing (a kind of flow on from classic “Tapas”) went hand-in-hand with having to order “components” for meals - as in - your main now might just be the fancy featured protein thingumijig with a few artistic smears of thick brown or red stuff around it, but that’s not a meal - so then you have to order some veg or salad and possibly even a carb source separately, by which time you have spent your weekly shopping allowance on one meal and got enough for a family of four to dine on in front of you on huge plates with not enough table space to fit them all on!
So - to circumvent this -> share plates! You still might have to buy some cheap chips on the way home to fill up on, or down a bowl of yoghurt or some toast when you get home, but it has likely cost less and less waste!
My answer now is - eat at home! Get a decent meal, usually tastes better, relaxed setting, etc etc.
Eating out ain’t what it used to be!
Totally agree Fiona & such an expensive way of dining out!
Often two tiny pieces of protein even out of London & other cities are £20 with rye menu often saying we recommended three dishes for each person!
We can eat at our favourite/almost local Hambleton Hall on weekdays for not much more than this! Two courses, ‘Lunch for Less’ £54 plus service and the food is second to none. 😍
I don't eat out but I love your article - love the responses your getting too!! People who don't like to share... HA HA HA!! You generally only share something that you don't love so much that you don't want it all (or you just don't want all of the calories if you really love it)! XX