Zero Balance: 10 dining experiences to burn a hole in your apron
How much would you pay for a bar of chocolate? Rs. 100? Perhaps, Rs. 200 if its organic, vegan and gluten-free? How does Rs. 8,000 for a box of 12 Godiva Truffles sound? Even as chefs at fine dining restaurants rage against Instagrammers, there is no doubt that social media has brought gourmet luxury back in focus. From golden sushi and ruby-studded cakes to daiquiris dripping with diamonds – it’s definitely about much more than the taste of things.
Here’s our pick of 10 of the most extravagant food and drink experiences that will help burn a hole in your apron:
Douche Burger - 666 Burger, New York (Rs. 45,300)
There is nothing quite like a juicy burger from a New York City food truck. Especially if it’s a foie gras-stuffed Kobe patty drenched in Gruyere that has been melted with champagne steam and topped with lobster, truffles, caviar and a barbeque sauce made with Kopi Luwak coffee beans (also famous for being pooped out by a Southeast Asian animal) and Himalayan rock salt. And yes, it comes wrapped in gold-leaf.
Frida’s Taco - Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort (Rs. 17,00,000)
Should we posh it up a bit? The humble taco has been given a $25,000 makeover at the Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort in Mexico. The world’s most expensive taco is served with langoustine, Kobe beef, Beluga caviar and black truffle brie cheese. The salsa is an exotic mix of ultra-premium peppers and it’s all served on a gold flake-infused corn tortilla.
The Diamond is Forever Martini - The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (Rs. 12,00,000)
This sparkling Martini may be a bit much even for Mr. Bond. What makes this chilled Grey Goose cocktail decidedly decadent is the one-carat diamond resting at the bottom of the glass. And to top it all, a live band will serenade you with their rendition of Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever".
Chef's Studio – Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai (Rs. 1,50,000 for two)
Enjoyed that cocktail? Now toodle on to India’s grand old dame for a personalised meal for two by Chef Rajendra Mahadik. This isn’t just any old meal. Your home for the evening will be a luxurious private dining room in the hotel’s Palace Wing. You will be waited on hand and foot, as you interact with the chef who has put together a carefully chosen menu from the hotel’s famed restaurants including Wasabi, Souk and Golden Dragon. It doesn’t get more personal than this!
Screaming Eagle Cabernet, 1992 - Napa Valley (Rs. 3,40,00,000) opened with a Sveid Corkscrew (Rs. 39,27,000)
Prefer to stay in? Today is as good a day as any to crack open that imperial (6 ltr bottle) of Screaming Eagle Cabernet 1992 you won at the charity auction. One of the American wine world's most startling successes, the 1992 vintage fetched the highest price ever paid for a bottle of wine. We have no doubt that for a wine of this calibre you will reach for a corkscrew by Sveid, purveyors of tableware and cutlery to the rich and mononymous, stashed away for this rainy day.
Nesmuk Jahrhundertmesser (Rs. 62,77,000)
While you sip on your award- and auction-winning wine, may we suggest a quick and delicious pasta to go along with it? Chop up your tomatoes with Germany-based knife master Nesmuk’s incredible century knife. Crafted with a blade made of 640 layers of the Damascus steel, a handle made out of 5,000 year-old oak, the ferrule made of the finest platinum set with 25 diamonds and stored in a Noble Piano Lacquer Box.
The Billionaire's Soft Serve - Selfridges, London (Rs. 3,40,00,000)
It's finally time for dessert. Trust the good folk at luxury superstore Selfridges to pimp up the humble gelato, with a generous side of humour. They took a 99p Snowflake and turned it into a £99 luxurious dessert. The 350 gm serve which takes 4 hours to make is scooped into a cone dipped in a rare, organic Madagascan chocolate. This is what’s in store for you inside the cone: caramelised pecans, dark chocolate truffle spheres, mango, ginger and passionfruit sorbet, salted caramel soft serve gelato made with Persian Blue Sea Salt, topped with a macaroon with ‘edible diamonds’, a gold-coated chocolate flake, drizzled with a salted caramel sauce, complete with an edible gold leaf. Eat with a golden chocolate spoon.
Gurkha’s Black Dragon Cigar (Rs. 78,300)
After all that luxurious eating, it's time to sit back and relax with an absurdly expensive, yet prestigious, Black Dragon Cigar. The Mayans got it right when they first created “sikars” in the 1100s. The cigar remains a symbol of decadent relaxation even today.
Bruzzoni Electric Toothbrush (Rs. 13,500)
After all that decadent dining, your teeth deserve a bit of decadence of their own. A black leather and rose gold electric toothbrush comes with an elegant case, two toothbrush heads and a charger. There is a choice of colours too, of course.