The next big thing: Culinary decadence
The new big fad hitting the culinary world of late is decadence, a premise that is nothing new but one that can get eye-wateringly expensive as venues go above and beyond to outdo each other. Given the equally decadent price-tag applied to some of these carefully-constructed delicacies, this isn't enough to put off those who can afford the luxury—punters clamour in their thousands to try the new ‘it’ trend.
To this end, Global Property Scene has compiled a full day’s menu which incorporates some of the most expensive meals in the world:
> BREAKFAST: The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata—Norma’s, New York ($1,000)
Colloquially called “the world’s most expensive omelette”, this breakfast staple at legendary New York brasserie Norma’s is abundance personified. Depending on your interpretation of value, the $1,000 offering will provide diners with all the typical ingredients of an omelette (think eggs, chives and butter), but with one major difference—Norma’s frittata features 10 ounces of the finest American Sturgeon caviar (normally retailing at $65 per ounce), as well as a pound of lobster. Naturally given its hefty price-tag, it’s said that only about 12 people per year order the “zillion dollar” omelette, while the more affordable option (containing just 1 ounce of caviar and at one tenth of the price) is rather ironically ordered about ten times as often.
> LUNCH: The 24k Pizza—Industry Kitchen, New York ($2,000)
Up there on the list of the most ostentatious—and expensive—pizzas in the world, this dish uses squid-ink dough and is garnished with the likes of stilton, foie gras, platinum Ossetra caviar, Italian white truffles, and even 24k gold leaves (which give this pizza its rather grandiose name). If the standard offering isn't quite decadent enough, there’s the option to add an additional 1.5 ounces of Almas caviar into the mix (for a $700 premium, of course). This pizza has been officially ratified by The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most expensive pizza, with each of its eight slices equating to a value of $250 apiece. The brainchild of Lower Manhattan eatery Industry Kitchen, this pizza is a massive 4,066% more expensive than the next most expensive dish on the menu, and its chef Braulio Bunay openly praises his creation as “the epitome of decadence”, inspired by the wealth of Manhattan’s financial district.
> DINNER: FleurBurger 5000—Fleur de Lys, Las Vegas ($5,000)
Famous French chef Hubert Keller first created his now-iconic FleurBurger 5000 in the kitchen of his Mandalay Bay restaurant in 2011, one that has since become somewhat of an urban legend. The patty is made up of wagyu beef—naturally the most expensive cut of meat in the world, stemming from Japan’s Kobe region—and comes hand-in-hand with foie gras, truffle sauce, shaved black truffles and served on a brioche bun which too is laced with truffle. However, the burger’s accompaniment is what gives this dish its luxury price-tag—namely a bottle of rare 1995 Chateau Petrus Bordeaux (generally around $2,500 per bottle on its own), as well as keepsake glasses crafted by Ichendorf Milano. Such is the prestige of the FleurBurger, any patron who orders the dish at Keller’s restaurant is also presented with an authenticity certificate after their meal.
> DESSERT: Frrrozen Haute Chocolate sundae—Serendipity 3, Las Vegas ($25,000)
Devilishly decadent, this dessert is not for the faint of heart of wallet—each serving of Frrrozen Haute Chocolate contains a unique blend of 28 cocoas from around the world, contains 5 grams of edible 23-karat gold, and is served with a side of La Madeline au Truffle (an element which in itself retails around $2,600 per pound). However, it’s not the ingredients alone that justifies the sundae’s eye-watering price—the dessert is meticulously presented in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet lined with edible gold, is eaten with a gold spoon decorated with white- and chocolate-coloured diamonds, and as the pièce de résistance, the base of the goblet houses an 18-karat gold bracelet embellished with a karat of white diamonds.
So there you have it—a full day’s menu, all for the rich sum of $33,000.
This is by no means a definitive list—you can of course get ever more expensive and elaborate meals. Take for example the brainchild of UK-based chef Marc Guibert: a $35,000 masterpiece styled in the form of a Fabergé egg and emboldened with whiskey-flavoured Belgian chocolate, champagne jelly, gold lead, champagne and strawberry caviar, and a 2.62-carat diamond ring to boot. And notwithstanding the aptly-named “Absurdity Sundae” which, created by California-based Three Twins Ice Cream company, for the princely sum of $60,000 includes a first-class ticket to Tanzania, a five-star hotel stay, a climb up the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro with the company’s founder (the point at which the dessert will be eaten), as well as a souvenir t-shirt to commemorate the event.
This goes to show that in the culinary world, decadence is certainly the order of the day. The question is: would you fork up the cost of a brand new luxury car for the privilege?