Living it up during the pandemic: 4 Reasons To Book A Private Dining Experience

A limit of just five people per table. A cut-off on liquor sales and consumption at 10:30 PM. Wearing of masks is required at all times. Movement within the restaurant premise is limited. TV viewing and live music are not allowed.

These are just some of the new guidelines people are compelled to follow when dining out these days.

Among the many unprecedented challenges this health crisis has brought upon us, it seems to have taken away one of the experiences that is intrinsic in all of us; one that supposedly serves as a powerful connector of families, friends, and even cultures -- the pleasure of food.

Is there a better alternative to restaurant dining during the pandemic?

The answer is private dining. 

As Palate Sensations Culinary School’s Japanese cuisine Chef Amelia discovers herself, more families and groups of friends are skipping the restaurants and opting for a private dining experience during this time. 

In this interview, she shares four reasons why private dining is a much better experience than dining at a restaurant.

 Fancy a private sashimi party?

#1: Comfortable, safe, and enjoyable dining.

Without the need to wear a mask or to practice social distancing, you can move about, socialise, and enjoy company over a good meal. In the company of families and friends at your home, you don’t need to feel scared about contracting the virus because you know who you are dining with. There is no worry about the table, chairs, the utensils being a contact point for the virus. All these feel safe to touch. Families and friends can sit together in one table even if there are more than five of them. You can play music, and enjoy drinks without having to watch the time. “In the restaurant, they have to chase you up. Isn’t it good for people to be able to relax?,” Chef Amelia says.

#2 Amazing food prepared and served fresh by a professional chef.

                               Chef Amelia Seko of Palate Sensations Culinary School.

Even before the pandemic, fine-dining at topnotch restaurants can sometimes be challenging to arrange. Seats could run out, and, to truly have a pleasurable experience, the quality of food has to be exquisite.

The stakes are higher especially for Japanese food where everything has to be prepared on the spot.  

To define the word everything in Chef Amelia’s private dining experience, it means serving up to 5 different types of sashimi for appetisers. This includes sashimi fruit, tuna belly, oily tuna belly, white fish, served according to different species as different species stay fresh at varying durations, followed by uni sashimi.

Uni is sea urchin. “It’s one of the top great sashimi or sushi for the guest. The guests, they love it so much!,” Chef Amelia says.  

And the meal is just beginning. “After all the sashimi, then I will follow by a steamed dish, which is my signature dish the Chawanmushi. You know Chawanmushi, is actually one of the signature dishes at Palate Sensations.”

 The steamed fish is then followed by a braised dish which is simmered with root vegetable daikon.

“Then next I will give the meat. So it’s either pork belly chashu, which is also a popular dish at Palate Sensations, or wagyu beef. Then the last course, the ending part is rice which is also a sushi dish but is called chirashi sushi. It’s sushi rice. So we serve the rice last. Then after the rice, I go with the soup to end the whole thing and then it’s fruit. And then I will give the ice cream.”

All these require Chef Amelia to manage her time in the kitchen, cut small portions, and plate every meal beautifully.

#3 Customisation.

Whether you want a full menu or a smaller menu, you can easily request the chef to customise it for you. 

In Chef Amelia’s experience, families that host private parties often have guests who don’t come empty-handed. They either bring a bottle of wine or cakes. In this case, dessert can be excluded from the menu.

“Some guests will come with cake. They will come with melon, muskmelon, a Japanese muskmelon because it’s a Japanese theme. And then at the end, I will help them to portion up, cut it up, and then plate it and then send it out,” she shares.

#4. True value for money.

I think it’s worth the money having a chef come in and give you a good service. If you are eating out, you can only have probably two hours, right? And especially now, in a pandemic. You only can invite, if you are a couple, you only can invite three. You only treat three and with this pandemic, you also cannot drink late so they will not extend.”

“If it is in your own home, you don’t have to put on your mask. You can go to the washroom easily. If you feel you want to do something, you can just freely roam around in the house. So it’s worth the money to you know, to have a chef come into your house! And I’m also preparing dish by dish, course by course in your own home! And you can drink. You don’t have corkage charged even if you bring your wine, you know. And you can have a good selection of customized food that you can request. So these are the plus one,” Chef Amelia concludes.

With thanks to chefs who offer their services in the privacy, comfort, safety of your homes, you can continue to cherish the pleasure of great company and food without letting the pandemic disrupt your lifestyle. 

Palate Sensations offers private dining either at your own home or at our studio. We work with an extensive list of chefs covering a broad range of Asian and Western cuisine. To book your private dining experience, email us today at

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