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Restaurant-like experience at home 

A date can be perfect with some planning and a multi-sensory experience to follow. Going to a restaurant can be an expensive affair and whatever one is looking out for in a restaurant can easily be achievable at home. Creating an ambience, planning a four-course meal or enjoying a sparkling drink and decadent dessert, all can be recreated at home in an intimate setting.  

Setting up a date at home might just be the way to present oneself and show his/her innate character. It is also understandable that one faces restrictions when it comes to the basic character of the house. But the key point to keep in mind while recreating a restaurant feel at home is to add a personal touch with a panache.  

As one is bound with the boundary of the walls, one can enhance the impression by making small changes. It is best to have dim lighting. It is advisable to keep the lighting of the room bright enough to see each other clearly and dim enough to ignore the limitations of the room. The lights play a huge role in setting the mood of the dating experience. The brightness of the lights can add warmth, relax a person and make the place feel cosy.

Some soft music in the background can enliven the place. A romantic instrumental or jazz music creates a snug environment, and of course, a blaring rock band is a definite no. The volume should be just enough for an audible conversation. 

Fresh and fragrant flowers can make the experience more sensory. Flowers lift up the mood by enchanting us in the most aromatic way. They can uplift the aura of the room to a whole new level by adding colour and a positive vibe. Though flowers have a number of positives, they could ruin the moment if overdone. It is advisable not to mix strong-scented flowers in the same room. Too many scented flowers can lead to headaches.  

 Apart from the lights, music and décor, one can also choose a theme to set up the room. The primary ingredient is a relaxing yet a warm feel. One can also dress up in fineries and bring out the heirloom cutlery. A bit of showing off would do no harm. Setting the table also calls for attention. A well laid-out table is always welcoming and makes the guest feel special.  

A good host practice is to keep a couple of options for the drink. One can ask the preference beforehand and stock accordingly.  

One can take his/her partner through a simple menu to relish a four-course meal and a lot of time for togetherness. 

To start off, enjoy a delicious soup like vegetable or chicken man chow for the first course. The trick to any four-course meal is to start off light. So, while preparing a soup, one can ensure to add tiny cut veggies or chicken. This can be added to light yet peppery, tangy and flavourful broth. A dash of greens of the spring onion adds a beautiful hue and brings in a crunch factor.  

The soup can be followed by veggie cigars or steamed dim sums. Veggie cigars are vegetables filled in wonton wrappers and rolled into the shape of a cigar. These are deep-fried and served with a hot and sour homemade sauce. One can also add some boiled noodles along with the vegetables in the wonton wrappers. If steamed dim sums are on the menu, the cigar filling can be covered with homemade thinly rolled dough and shaped into dim sums. They can be steamed and served with a spicy red chilli homemade sauce.

With the starter done, the focus can shift to the main course. Pad Thai peanut and vegetable noodles is a great option when accompanied by a simple stir fry. The stir fry can be colourful with a varied choice of veggies, tofu and shitake mushrooms. These can be well tossed with sesame seeds.  

To finish off this exquisite and piquant journey, one can introduce mildly-flavoured lemongrass and coconut panna cotta. This silky-smooth luscious dessert is bound to tantalise your palate and leave a fresh feeling.  

Ensure that your meal is prepared before the arrival of the guest. It can be re-heated, garnished, presented and served just before dinner. A date with dine and wine is best when fingers are not dirtied. The guest can help to plate up the food if it is an intimate affair.  

A date does not have any written rules. But it is purely up to the host to make the guest feel “special.” Thus, it is important that gadgets/distractions are kept away. Indulging in common activities like dancing, singing or even solving a crossword puzzle are perfect icebreakers and bring people closer.  

A date can be a candlelight dinner or a casual one in pyjamas with a feel of a five-star restaurant. It is completely up to the guest and his/her attitude. So a perfect attitude up one’s sleeves can leave the rendezvous with a lingering feeling.  

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