Asian Reporter, V29, #23 (December 2, 2019), page 13.
Table’s new star? The relaxed and versatile
By Kim Cook
The Associated Press
Dinner menus are now crowded with mixed greens bowls, savory
stews, and casseroles, which can create a quandary when it’s
time to set the table.
Should you use regular salad plates? (A little small.)
Regular dinner plates? (A little flat.) Regular soup bowls? (A
Thus was born the dinner bowl, a plate/bowl hybrid. It’s
generally the diameter of a standard dinner plate, but with some
curved lip to contain all the delectable broths, juices, or
New York-based Peter Kayaian, who is part of sweetgreens’
culinary operations team, says more restaurants have begun using
dinner bowls because of their versatility.
"Almost any type of dish can go into a shallow bowl — pasta,
salad, side dish. Plates aren’t cheap, so being able to have one
type of plate instead of three or four is a plus for
cash-strapped restaurateurs," he says.
"It’s also just the trend for plating right now. Gone are the
days of the oversize white plates with a small portion in the
middle. The shallow bowl allows for some creative plating, with
the tall curved rim as a good medium for swooshed sauces and
Craig Norton, director of operations for the Prince George
Hotel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, also sees a move away from the
standard white plate: "It’s too formal. Bowls are more relaxed."
He says pottery with earthy tones and rippled texture are more
in keeping with what the dishes hold, whether that’s in
restaurant dining rooms, takeaway spots, or back at home.
"It’s all about the new comfort food — a fusion of cuisines.
You can layer flavors, textures, cultures, leftovers, and fridge
contents into a culinary adventure, all in one bowl," he says.
A bonus feature of these capacious containers is that when
they’re not corralling rice, rigatoni, or rocket, they make
lovely dishes for bunches of grapes or a batch of fresh-baked
And there are lots of well-priced options.
Food52 calls its smooth, snowy porcelain bowl "the lovechild
of a plate and a bowl." West Elm’s version has a slightly curvy
rim, giving it an organic look. Williams-Sonoma’s has a classic
World Market offers a set of four pristine white porcelain
dishes, a deal at under $20. For those ready to try some color,
the retailer has a set of handmade stoneware dinner bowls in
uber-trendy blush pink. Or for al fresco gatherings, perhaps the
foursome of bamboo bowls, in a midcentury-modern palette of
teal, pink, cream, and blush.
British designer Aaron Probyn’s low-profile porcelain bowl
plates come as sets of four, in six hand-glazed hues including
navy and 2020’s hot color, light green, at Crate & Barrel.
Another pretty color story — this one’s midnight, daybreak,
fog, and moon — is at Year & Day; the bowls are made of hardy
Portuguese clay and can handle the freezer, oven, microwave, and
Stoneware in earthy hues with a nice speckled finish can be
found at Target, from Project 62.
At Food52, there’s the Caractere collection of French
porcelain plates in rustic white, turmeric, or moss, created in
collaboration with designer Noe Duchaufour-Lawrance. Also at
this retailer, you’ll find terracotta and white bowls from
Fortessa, in a user-friendly melamine that looks like stoneware.