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Food for Thought

Presentation is most important when it comes to serving your gourmet cuisine. Everything from colour compatibility and shape to the material of your dishes play a major part in presenting your food in the best possible light so it’s wise to choose your tableware wisely. Here are a few tips that will help you pick the most suitable dishes for everyday use or that dinner party you’ve been planning for.


1. Colour it Good

You probably won’t notice it, but the colour and shape of dishes used in food presentation does affect a diner’s perception. In fact, research has shown that the people tend to think desserts served on white and round plates are sweeter and tastier. So to make your home-cooked food look appetising, consider buying plain white dishes because it’s the most versatile. Its colour also won’t fade over time and such dishes are relatively inexpensive so designs like the plates in the Frost dinner plate by Corelle from World Kitchen (price upon request) will make great choices. If you have kids, then you might want to look into serving food on colourful plates with more decorative elements. Arranging their food in fun shapes such as a smile or heart will also entice them to tuck in heartily.

Frost Dinner Plate by Corelle from World Kitchen

2. Follow the Pattern

If you find plain white plates a little too boring, then go for patterned ones that come in one or two colours. They are usually easier to coordinate with the rest of your table décor and tend to be more affordable than those that come in complicated patterns like brightly coloured faïence or majolica. Dishes also come in 3 types of designs namely: Classic, Modern and Romantic.

Classic plates are generally dressed in straight lines, curvy designs or asymmetrical shapes, which are inspired by historical cultural movements such as Art Nouveau and Neoclassical. Love the intricacy of such patterns? Then check out GOODEARTH’s Nilaya dinner plate (USD25). Modern plates such as the Bidri dinner plate (USD45) from GOODEARTH, on the other hand, are more on the abstract side and feature geometric themes. Romantic plates take their cue from Mother Nature and showcase living things such as flowers, birds, fruits and even seashells. No matter what your tastes are, be sure to work your table setting around the dinner plate.

GOODEARTH’s Nilaya Dinner Plate

GOODEARTH’s Bidri Dinner Plate

3. Material, Girl

Dishes comes in a variety of materials, from bone china and porcelain to stoneware and earthenware.

They also vary in terms of damage resistance, so do think about your needs before making a beeline for the cashier with your plates. Other factors to consider are whether the plates are dishwasher and microwave-safe. For dinnerware with metallic embellishment, it’s usually not advisable to use them in the microwave. Here is a list of some materials that dishes typically come in:

This plastic material is both extremely affordable and resistant to damage such as scratches, breakage and shattering. If you’re not looking for expensive dinnerware or you have butter fingers in the family, then this is a good option—like the lovely Field Rose (Cream, $11) and Tiny Trains ($8) dinner plates from Cath Kidston. The Trendy dinner plate from Hoover Melamine (price upon request) is also a stylish option if you prefer a simpler design.

Tiny Trains and Field Rose from Cath Kidston

Bone China
Don’t let its delicate appearance fool you. Made from clay with added cow bone ash to give it an almost transparent white colour, bone china is highly durable so it’s safe to use in both dishwasher and microwave. You can check out móderne’s Tiffany plates if you love the idea of strength within frailty (Price: $12.45 per 10.5” Tiffany plate).

Porcelain or Fine China
Yet another durable material safe enough to use in the dishwasher and microwave, porcelain is baked at a high temperature to create a strong non-porous surface like glass. Fine China, on the other hand, is fired at a lower temperature and is softer than porcelain so it’s typically used in plates and cups like the dinnerware in the Svenska Hem collection from kikki.K. (Price: $16.90 per dinner plate) or the plates from the Komon series in the Kihara collection (Price: $48 per 24cm plate) that Supermama is currently carrying.

Kihara Collection from Supermama

Svenska Hem Collection from Kikki.K

Earthenware This material may be heavy, but boasts a rich earthy appearance. Less durable than stoneware, earthenware is porous unless it has been glazed to make it water-tight. It’s also quite fragile so it’s not suitable for the dishwasher.

Made from clay like earthenware, stoneware is non-porous and is highly durable. Although it has a similar appearance to earthenware, it’s both chip and scratch-resistant.

Available in a wide variety of colours and shapes, glass is dishwasher and microwave-safe but is generally more breakable than the rest of the materials. It’s comparatively less expensive and won’t warp, stain or absorb odours. Great for everyday use.

While shopping for dishes, do take note that some dishes such as faïence or majolica chip easily. So when they do, replacement is inevitable. In such cases, consider if they are easy to replace or you will end up with dinnerware that don’t match.

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