The Inside Story of Styling For a Restaurant Menu

July 16, 2016

N bar and Grill is a fine dining restaurant serving Indian and global food with premium look and top quality ingredients. The food is natural, fresh, rich with flavours and created with a deep passion to bring about a contemporary to Indian food.



Client/ corporate chef who designs and develops the menu is usually very attached to his/her recipes, plating styles and garnishes. When the client is well versed with the subject, he or she is bound to have a pre-fixed visualisation of how he wants to see his menu being shot. So we as a team of stylists and photographer, set up a meeting with the chef to understand his food, his technique and his inspiration. 


Key words - Global. Premium, Exotic, Experimental


Running a full time restaurant for a huge brand in the hotel business is quite a task. Literally next door to the venerable RK Studios on the bustling Sion-Trombay Road is this large fine dining space that is clad in a white origami-like geometric mesh from the outside. Inside is a beautiful setting which welcomes you with its rich, dull gold accents on the walls and dim romantic lighting. The bar section is a separate zone altogether with comfortable seating and a large mirrored bar. The idea of having a digital ipad menu not only gives out a contemporary touch but also whets the appetite of the guests who can see how each dish looks before they order.  




Thus to deliver delicious and beautiful dishes it takes meticulous planning and months of training for the kitchen staff to keep the quality and standards the same all year long. We as a team of stylists had to keep this vision in mind that “Food visual shall sell the product for this upper end restaurant”. We had to be truthful about the portion size, recipes, color, texture and even garnishes used in all the different dishes. What we shoot will be delivered to the guests along with the same set of accompaniments.


We also decided to have an overall feel and ambiance of the restaurant reflecting in our pictures. The lighting mood was kept as evening to depict the richness and high end look of this particular place. Our motto was to not only create good food pictures but also stay up to the mark with the brand promise!





  • No fake ingredients were used.

  • All the garnishes were ice crisped.

  • Make sure the salt content in all the dishes is minimal as the ingredients tend to leave water.

  • The tandoori items that were shot were all half cooked to give the freshness of the dish, yet to make them look cooked and delicious.

  • The ambiance created for salads and light starters were done in natural day light to give a feel of lightness to the dish.

  • The beverages shot were made to look transparent yet look real and the cocktails were not muddled so that the ingredients look refreshing and fresh.

  • All the glasses for cocktails were rubbed with Vaseline and the sprayed with glycerin and water mixture to make the drink look chilled and cool. This effect is used on all cold beverages as the coldness of the actual drink dies very soon in front of the camera and lots of heat.

  • The ice cubes used in the beverages were all acrylic. Thus to give a real feel to the product yet allow the photographer to create good shots and not let the drink die soon in front of the heavy lights.


Happy Styling!

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