Your Essential Guide to Making Takeout Feel Special

Depending on your eating and cooking habits, your household may make frequent takeout orders, or they may be reserved for once-in-a-blue-moon occasions. Whatever the frequency, there is a good chance that you could enhance the overall experience to make a meal at home feel more like private dining in Dubai

If you are looking to take your at-home dining experience to the next level, read on for your essential guide to making takeout feel special.

The Benefits of Ordering Takeout 

While you aren’t necessarily going to order takeout for every meal, there are some significant benefits to be had from placing an order. Here are some reminders of why you love takeout: 

1. No cooking, no stress. 

No matter how much you love cooking for your family, everyone enjoys ordering takeout now and again – especially during super busy evenings.  With gourmet chef home delivery services, you not only don’t have to cook, but you also don’t have to meal plan or make a trip to the grocery store for ingredients.  For this reason, ordering takeout can feel like a significant treat for everyone, especially if you are the chef at home!

When you prepare a home-cooked meal, you are inevitably going to end up with a pile of dirty dishes. From the pots and pans you used to the utensils and tableware, there is a lot that goes into preparing a meal for more than one. On the other hand, when you order food from a restaurant, there is almost no clean-up required. In some cases, you may use a couple of plates and sets of utensils; however, you can also choose to eat from the containers that the food arrives in. Then, when you are finished, simply dispose of the boxes and delight in not having a full sink of dishes to deal with when the meal is over

If you have had a stressful day or week, give yourself a break and let a takeout order save you time and reduce your load. Ordering takeout only takes a few minutes, and you can spend the saved time relaxing while enjoying the company of your family and catching up on your day. 

2. You get to try new cuisines and satisfy cravings. 

For many families, ordering takeout is a unique experience because it enables you to try new cuisines and dishes that aren’t easy for you to make at home. Alternatively, you may get a craving for something that you know you can’t make better than your favorite restaurant. When those cravings hit, takeout is fantastic. 

For example, Doors Freestyle Grill has recently launched delivery to ensure that you can experience fine dining in the comfort of your home. From lamb chops with couscous to eggplant salads, juicy tenderloin beef rolls to sticky date pudding, Wildfire by Doors has some fantastic dishes to satisfy your cravings for luxury dining in Dubai. Opting to order takeout is the fastest and most straightforward way to satisfy your cravings.

3. Your family can customize the experience. 

As a family, it can be a logistical nightmare to organize going out to dinner – especially if you have younger children or multiple people with different schedules. For this reason, opting to do a takeout meal can give you a lot more flexibility when organizing. 

If you have picky eaters in the family or you find that they can’t agree on one dish to have, then takeout is a surefire way of keeping everyone happy. Each member of the family can order something different, and you don’t have to spend several hours preparing individual meals.

Moreover, every family has days and nights when you don’t want to be seen in public. Ordering takeout enables you to get food from the best restaurant in town without having to get changed to make yourself look presentable. Instead of getting dressed up for dinner, you can all be at home eating your food in comfy clothes

How to Order Takeout Healthily

When it comes to ordering takeout, it can be easy to quickly forget about your family’s health and wellness goals. However, with a few simple tips, you will be in a much better position to decipher the menu. 

1. Watch out for specific terms. 

Most items on a restaurant menu sound delicious; however, if you are looking to make your order a little bit more healthy, then you want to be aware of specific terms. If a dish includes “crunchy,” “crispy,” “battered,” and “breaded,” then it is probably going to be a lot higher in calories or fat. The healthier choices will include terms such as “baked,” “grilled,” “roasted,” and “steamed.” 

2. Limit the “unhealthy” options. 

That isn’t to say that you can’t order something unhealthy, but you should limit the quantity. For starters, limit how many dishes you get that are completely fried or served in high-calorie sauces. Sauces and dressings can add a significant amount of calories to your meal, so always ask for them to be served on the side. That way, you can have more control over the amount of sauce on your food. Keep in mind that a cream-based sauce has hundreds of calories and several grams of saturated fat, so you are better to opt for a veggie-based sauce such as marinara. 

3. Balance out your beverage. 

If you are getting higher-calorie dishes, then look to balance it out with your beverage choice. Sugar-laden beverages (such as sodas) contain a lot of calories and don’t have any nutritional value. Moreover, they also don’t help you to feel full, so you are likely going to drink all those calories on top of those that you ingest from the food. 

Therefore, it is highly suggested that you balance out your takeout meal with fresh juices, water, milk, or unsweetened coffee or tea. Alternatively, you may want to try a “Mocktail” such as a Cucumber Lychee Cooler or an alcohol-free Margarita. 

4. Tweak dishes to “up” the nutritional value. 

With just a couple of tweaks, even dishes you would think were “unhealthy” can have significant nutritional value. Here are a couple of suggestions: 

  • Choose whole grains. Always opt for brown rice or rice pilaf over white rice as it has more fiber and antioxidants, while white rice has few essential nutrients. Likewise, if possible, ask for noodle-heavy dishes to be made with brown rice instead. Whole wheat pasta and whole-wheat pizza crust are preferred if you are ordering Italian food. 
  • Add extra veggies. One of the best ways to up the nutritional value of your meal is to prioritize vegetables. Consider ordering a side of veggies (such as corn, sweet potato, or broccoli) to ensure that the family is getting a balanced meal. 

5. Start with a salad. 

Beginning your meal with a salad is a great way to ensure that you are getting the necessary vitamins and minerals that are suggested for healthy children and adults. Additionally, salad ingredients (such as leafy greens and chopped vegetables) are high in fiber, which fills you up with a low number of calories. By eating a salad before your main course, you will eat less protein, starchy carbohydrates, and fat throughout the rest of the meal.  

Luckily, most restaurants offer an array of salads for you to choose from – ranging from a simple side salad to a more luxurious option like the “Red Gem” from Wildfire by Doors, which is flavored with pomegranate and mixed creamy cheese. 

6. Know when to indulge. 

Despite all of this “healthy-eating” talk, the healthiest diet is one that is balanced and includes indulgent meals in moderation. What does that mean? Well, instead of eating unhealthy, fast food meals every day, plan to eat healthy during the week and then have one indulgent takeout meal on the weekend

By avoiding too many high-calorie dishes during the week, you can save yourself for a meal that you really crave, like a beefsteak burger with homemade fries and a side of truffle mash potato. Knowing you have been “good” during the week will allow you to enjoy your takeout meal that much more thoroughly.  

7. Split dessert. 

The best way to have your cake and eat it too is to order dessert and split it with another person. So, if your family takeout meal is for four, then only order two desserts so that everyone gets half. By splitting your dessert with another diner, you will be able to satisfy your sweet tooth while ensuring that you don’t go overboard on the sugar. 

8. Incorporate all food groups. 

The most important thing to do when ordering takeout is to ensure that you are incorporating all food groups into your meal. This means having grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and a small amount of dairy. That being said, every individual has different nutrition needs, so you want to ensure that you are ordering takeout meals that suit your family’s health needs, eating style, and taste buds!

How To Make Takeout Feel Special 

Whatever type of takeout you are ordering and for whatever reason, you want to make the meal feel special. Here are a few tips for elevating the experience: 

1. Use proper plates. 

If you are looking to make your takeout meal feel special for your family, then the first thing you want to do is to plate it properly. By opting to remove the food from the styrofoam or cardboard it is delivered in and place it on your nice plates, you will find that you have more care and attention towards what you are about to eat. Taking the time to make your food look nice will make a significant difference in the way you enjoy your meal, as so much of the eating experience happens through our eyes

Cloth napkins are essential for an elevated dinner as they add an elegant touch to the table design while also being necessary for diners. Similarly, placemats produce a stylish area for each diner. While rectangular placemats are the most common, if you are going for a contemporary look, opt for square ones. 

2. Set the table. 

For a memorable meal at home, it is essential to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. You can do this by designing a tablescape that sets the mood. For dinner with your family, you probably want an “elevated casual” table setting, which means setting out the “fancy” plates, as well as napkins, cutlery, and glasses. However, you only need to set out pieces that are required for the dishes you are having. For example, if you haven’t ordered soup from the restaurant, then you don’t need soup bowls. 

If you have multiple plates, layering them will create a visual impact. On the bottom will be a dinner plate, followed by a salad plate and then a bowl. You can also get creative with silverware by tying them together with ribbon. Finally, always use some form of table covering, such as a table runner or a tablecloth. These not only protect your dining table, but they also set your table apart from others. 

3. Light some candles. 

To create a special at-home dining experience, opt to add a glow to the room with candles. Using candles helps to set the mood in a room and to make it feel more special than a regular dinner at home. With candles on the dining room table, you can dim the regular lights for a subtle lighting situation that is both relaxing and beautiful. For a stunning centerpiece, take it one step further and arrange fresh flowers around the candle. 

When it comes to the scents in the dining room, you want to make sure that the fragrance isn’t competing with the food. For this reason, avoid floral scents and instead opt for citrus-based scents as they complement food-based aromas. Look for candle scents such as bergamot, pear, thyme, grapefruit, honey, and rosemary. Moreover, beeswax candles contain air-purifying properties that offset bad smells. 

You also want to consider the season when choosing your candles and flowers as the warmer months are best celebrated with lighter scents while the colder months are best-suited for heavier fragrances. During the winter, consider lighting candles with food-based scents (such as pumpkin or baked goods). 

Does your family often order takeout? Why or why not? What tips do you have for making takeout a more special experience? Let us know your thoughts and any relevant insights in the comments below.