Features on StarChefs.com

Button It Up: Service Notes

With theatricality playing an important part in the front of the house, we’ve noticed a couple of service trends you might want to incorporate in your restaurants.


Miso is poured from a tea kettle tableside at Morimoto on StarChefs.comTableside Service Makes a Comeback
Tableside service can add flavor and flair to the dining room. Getting patrons involved in the cooking of their food or demonstrating the finishing touches on any dish can add entertainment value to their dining experience.

Duck Nambe finishes cooking in parchment paper at Nobu 57 on StarChefs.com At Morimoto in New York, the Ochazuke, a Japanese rockfish and buckwheat noodle dish, is finished off with a rich miso broth poured from a black iron tea kettle. Chef Makoto Okuwa took inspiration from the Japanese tradition of pouring tea over day old white rice to create this elegant tableside presentation.

Chef Matt Hoyle’s cuisine is based on well-researched and sometimes forgotten traditional Japanese techniques at Nobu 57, as with his Duck Nabe. The dish is cooked tableside in traditional Japanese Nabe paper yielding an elegant and entertaining presentation. It is also a useful technique for sealing in the moisture and preserving the tenderness of the meat.

Kitchen Collaboration

One of the challenges sushi restaurants face is collaboration between the hot and cold kitchens to deliver seamless service. Timing and vision are often issues when faced with two separate kitchens, which can lead to competition between chefs. The hot and cold chefs at both Geisha and Morimoto overcome these challenges by working as partners in the mission of the restaurants. Mark Andelbradt, who oversees the hot kitchen at Morimoto, explains, “There is no power struggle because we are both working towards the same goals. The service timing is really driven by the hot kitchen for the simple reason that 2/3 of all food sold is coming from that area. At the end of day the focus is on quality and people.”

   Published: July 2006