Is the cliché question of “chicken or fish?” at weddings soon to be a relic of the past?
The Plaza Ballroom‘s Executive Chef David Ricardo certainly hopes so. “Everyone’s been to functions and knows what the food is usually like. We like to go the other direction and show what the food can be,” says the chef (who has formerly cooked at Chin Chin and the hatted Pearl).
In keeping with the times and modern wedding food trends, David and his very small-but-impressive in-house team of chefs want to see more custom-designed and degustation menus at special celebrations. No more cookie-cutter food and beverage packages by the hour, please. He personally sits down with each couple to discuss their individual tastes, wishes and guests’ dietary requirements. Imagine feasting on dishes inspired by your first date, the bride and groom’s all-time favourite foods or an upscale incarnation of whatever you ate at dinner when the surprise proposal happened?
Underneath vintage chandeliers, you could dine on morsels like tuna with apple and dashi jelly, pickled radish, ginger gel and wasabi sherbet or even a Bombe Alaska-esque coconut mousse with pineapple salad and Italian meringue. Definitely request any dish that features David’s parmesan marshmallows too!
Typically serving six courses, David and the Plaza Ballroom (he is also in charge of the cuisine at the wider Regent Theatre, Princess Theatre and the Forum Melbourne) can actually cater up to any number of dishes during a degustation. Dishes are matched to as-local-as-possible wines but can also be paired with whiskey, gin or Champagne. A celebratory menu here could even include gourmet house-made sodas in the case of a dry wedding. It’s all about making delicious dreams come true for foodie couples.
The Plaza Ballroom is suited to food-focused couples who want their guests to enjoy both an elaborate setting and dining experience. “Melbourne’s a very food-focused city and at any kind of function these days is not as if you’re paying a cheap entry fee,” says David. However, you’d be surprised at the very reasonable starting price for a wedding degustation (which includes venue hire depending on number of wedding guests). The Ballroom usually seats 150 to 550 guests amid late 1920s architecture underneath Juliet balconies and a canopy of ornate Baroque ceiling decorations. However, they won’t object if, say, you wanted to reserve the whole of the grand space for an intimate yet dramatic table for ten of your nearest and dearest.
Food has become the heart of many weddings so why not look beyond buffets and basic menus?David says, “The way we see it is guests deserve to have a meal that befits them and we try to give it our best shot!”
You can find out more about the Plaza Ballroom’s delectable weddings here.
Ms Zebra Says: I’m constantly amazed at how the wedding industry is changing & modernising! There is nothing worse than a sub par meal when you’re celebrating a loving couple – and know just how much they’ve paid for it! This sounds incredible – and Melbourne being a foodie capital, it’s the perfect place to start.
Images Supplied By Venue.