It’s safe to say that food has, over the past decade, become a form of art, with chefs the world over, creating delightful delicacies that tempt and excite diverse palates. This interest in gastronomy has resulted in food becoming a reason to travel, with people taking food tours and travelling across continents to have a memorable meal.
At the very heart of this culinary culture has been the coveted Michelin Guide. It comes out annually and features some of the most amazing restaurants in the entire world. For an ardent food lover, having a meal at a Michelin starred restaurant is a dream come true. However, these places are not always cheap, and a meal at a top Michelin restaurant can run into hundreds of dollars, sometimes without alcoholic drinks. Lucky for you, there are a few ways you can go about eating at a Michelin restaurant, without having to burn through your pockets.
The worst time to visit a Michelin restaurant, if you are trying to save money, is at dinnertime. If the establishment is run by a celebrity chef, this is the time you can possibly see them in action. But it also means you pay a premium for it. If you are not too picky about the chef, then you’ll find the restaurant’s lunch menu or special weekend brunch to your liking. They tend to be a lot more casual, plate-up the same great food, and all that at a much lower price.
When it comes to boasting about “eating” at a Michelin restaurant, you can still do that, without having a proper sit-down meal there. Different restaurants have different setups, but most will have a bar that offers bite-sized snacks. These snacks are equally exquisite and capture the soul of the restaurant, albeit in a cost-effective way for the customer. So, if you don’t want to splurge, just have a lovely time at the bar, munching away on snacks while enjoying a drink of your choice.
Go Bib Gourmand
If you follow the Michelin Guide with passion and enthusiasm, then you must be aware that besides giving out stars to the very best, they also write about restaurants that are unique, modestly priced, and equally good in terms of the food they offer. The Bib Gourmand are awards that go to smaller restaurants that might serve limited items, but the food is truly phenomenal. Now, it is good to remember that Big Gourmand is different from some of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurants out there, like a noodle shop in Singapore where you can get a meal for next to nothing. However, you’re likely to find massive lines outside the cheap Michelin restaurants, but not so much outside a Bib Gourmand one.
Choose the Tasting Menu
Tasting menus can be a little tricky. Most people will tell you that it is cheap to go with the a-la-carte option at a restaurant as you can control what you eat, and stick to your budget. However, while tasting menus might seem pricey, they tend to offer a great deal more. Not only do tasting menus plate up the very best that the chef has to offer, but more often than not, they add a few extra dishes to the menu for free, especially if the staff notices that you are enjoying the meal. Still, if a full eight or twelve-course tasting menu is too expensive, plenty of Michelin starred restaurants also have smaller, three or five-course options at a budgeted price.
Keep a Watch
If you happen to have a Michelin restaurant near your residence, the best way to eat there, without breaking the bank, is by looking out for special offers. Restaurants will sometimes serve discounted meals, advertising about them on their websites or social media. If it is a particularly popular place, remember that any such offer will be picked up by gourmands within hours, if not minutes. So, you need to be vigilant about it, and regularly check for any announcements from the restaurant.