25 Fancy Restaurant Menu Terms De-Mystified!

25 Fancy Restaurant Menu Terms De-Mystified!

The one thing you don't want on a first date is to be asked "hey, what does this mean?" and not have the faintest idea what to answer. But fine dining restaurants make it hard to avoid this scenario with terms like 'suppression', 'velouté' and 'macerated'. Worry not, we're here to help you look like the suave, wine-swirling, langoustine-eating culture vulture you dream of being.

25 Restaurant Terms That will Add to Your Sophistication Quotient (tip: the fancier the menu, the heftier your bill)

Aglio e olio

Usually affixed with spaghetti, it means 'garlic and oil' in Italian and refers to a pasta dish from Naples.


No, it's not food that will make you laugh. It's a bite-sized appetiser usually served on a complimentary basis. It's meant to tickle your taste buds, hence the name amuse-bouche (mouth amuser in French).


Prepare for your dish to be floating in fat from the pan it was cooked in - but it'll make it more flavoursome.


If you like the flavour of crustaceans, order a bisque at your next fancy meal. It's a rich and creamy soup made with sauteed and ground shells of crustaceans.


It's a wonderful Italian cheese with a Mozzarella covering and a creamy interior that goes very well with olive oil and fresh tomatoes.


It's the tiny starter you inevitably munch on at parties. Small pieces of bread or pastry are topped with some savoury spreads and fruits or vegetables.


An Italian appetizer consisting of thinly pounded beef or fish, carpaccio may be tasty but remember that raw meat is never entirely safe for consumption.


Raw fish is cured in lime juice to make ceviche. But unlike carpaccio, it's safe to consume and unexpectedly delicious.


Your meat order might be accompanied by chimichurri sauce. It's usually green and made with parsley, cilantro and oregano but there is also a red version.


Is there compote in your dessert? Don't go calling it jam. They might look similar but compote consists of whole pieces of fruit in sugar syrup.


When you see this word beside a meat, it means the meat has been cooked in its own fat. If you see it next to fruit, the fruit has been cooked in sugar.


Ground meat, carrots, celery, leek, tomatoes and egg whites are combined and clarified to make this clear soup.


It's just another name for winter radish and may be served pickled.


Ah, the buzz word of 2017. Deconstruction is simply the opposite of putting things together to make a whole dish. The separate elements are served creatively, changing your perspective about the dish.

Foie gras

A usually expensive and gourmet food item, foie gras is fattened duck or goose liver.


The Korean kimchi is becoming more and more popular for its spicy, sour taste. It's a side dish made of fermented vegetables like cabbage.

Molecular gastronomy

This is a rather fascinating discipline, which turns cooking into a science. By studying the chemical transformations that occur in ingredients while cooking, chefs have created innovations like fruit caviar and glowing cocktails.


Pâté is a smooth paste of any cooked meat and fat.


It's a wholesome stew of meat and vegetables, had as a main course.


Hint - Swiss roll is a type of roulade. A roulade is any spiral roll made of flattened meat or pastry with a sweet or savoury filling.


Chances are you're acquainted with sushi but what's sashimi? It's raw fish sliced very thinly. Don't worry, it's frozen first to kill any tapeworms.


This has nothing to do with bread. It's the thymus gland or pancreas of a calf or sometimes, lamb.


Another raw meat dish, tartare consists of raw ground meat, seasoned and shaped into cakes. It may be served on rye bread with onions and capers.


Tempura refers to the Japanese (or Portuguese, some claim) style of dipping vegetables and seafood in batter and frying.


It's a salad dressing made of vinegar or lemon juice and oil. It may also be used as a marinade.

Also read: 15 Cooking Terms You Should Know

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