Why Does Fine Dining Have Small Portions?

A small fine dining portion


When people picture fine dining, they typically think of small portions. And, the irony is that the portion sizes tend to shrink as the dining experience becomes finer. Renowned chef Paul Bocuse once humorously remarked, “Fine dining is nothing on the plate and everything on the bill.”

Guests often wonder why fine dining restaurants have small portions. Do they not provide value for money? They surely do. But, the value is not about the amount of food. It’s the entire dining experience. 

This is what this blog aims to explain. We want to demystify any misconceptions about this topic and explain why fine dining favours petite portions.


5 Reasons Why Fine Dining Has Small Portions

  1. Use of Premium Ingredients

Fine dining restaurants prioritise premium and freshest ingredients. They source these ingredients locally or import them. These high-quality ingredients come at a significant cost, especially when considering seasonal fare. 

Small portions help manage these costs effectively. This aspect is true in the case of Apéritif too. 

We often need to import certain meat and seafood varieties as the local options don’t meet our quality standards. Moreover, we maintain our greenhouse to grow some vegetables. These vegetables are free of pesticides and extremely fresh. But, fine quality comes with high costs. 

A chef preparing a fine dining meal on a tree slab
Chef Preparing Vegetable Dish on Tree Slab
  1. Enhancing Gastronomic Experience

Fine dining restaurants often offer tasting menus or degustation menus. These menus feature seven to eight courses in a single sitting. Further, each course is diverse in style, taste and texture.

If restaurants were to serve multiple courses in regular portions, they may overwhelm diners. Also, diners may become full too quickly and not be able to savour each dish. This is why, small portions.


  1. Offering a Multi-sensory Experience

The presentation of dishes in smaller portions arouses curiosity among diners. When encouraged by staff, diners willingly explore nuances like exquisite presentation and intricate flavour profiles.

When diners sample multiple small portions, they can engage most or all of their senses. In essence, small portions make the dining experience engaging, immersive and more memorable. 


  1. Easy to Style Dishes

The art of plating is intrinsic to fine dining. 

For example, at Apéritif, when serving our famous and visually stunning Venison Wellington, we delicately drizzle velvety sauce over each slice. This makes the presentation immaculately elegant.

Such attention to refinement can only be possible if the portion is small. Chefs get ample space on the plate to arrange meal components precisely.

But why is aesthetic plating important? 

A beautifully plated dish stimulates diners’ sense of sight, increases their appetite, and enhances the perception of flavour and quality. It also makes them more excited to taste the meal. It’s an equal companion to taste and flavours to uplift the overall dining experience.

Venison wellington fine dining meal from Apéritif Restaurant
Venison Wellington at Apéritif


  1. Reduction in Food Wastage

By serving smaller portions, fine dining restaurants can minimise excess food production. It leads to lower costs and reduces environmental impact. It allows the chefs to use the produce entirely and creatively, sometimes even leftovers to create delectable meals.


Fine Dining in Ubud

 You can visit Apéritif to sample our refined tasting menus to truly appreciate the art of savouring small portions. You’ll discover that small portions are capable of creating a big impact. Book your table today.

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Our dress code is smart to formal attire. We ask that you please refrain from wearing sports clothing or beachwear, including t-shirts and flip-flops. The restaurant is fully air-conditioned.



Lunch | 12noon – 2pm* Sat-Tue

Dinner | 5.30pm-8.30pm* Open Daily*Last Kitchen order time

Bar | 4pm - late Open Daily

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