Feb. 10, 2007 — -- It took a big appetite and an even bigger bank account to get through tonight's meal at the Dome Restaurant in Bankok, Thailand. It was billed as the most expensive meal ever served.
After 10 courses, prepared by some of the most famous chefs in the world, each accompanied by its own rare wine, each diner was presented with a bill for one million Thai baht. That's about $30,000, and the tax and tip were not included.
Worth every penny, Italian chef Heinz Winkler told the Associated Press.
"I believe the diners tonight will experience a culinary level unseen before," he told the AP.
But some felt the food was as rich as the diners themselves. One diner, Sophiane Foster had trouble getting through her eighth course of pigeon en croute with cepes mushrooms: "I can't finish it. Your senses can only take so much."
The six chefs who prepared the meal were flown in from France, Germany and Italy. The ingredients they used were flown in from all over the world.
Diners started with a crème brulee of foie gras, then moved on to French scallops with Italian black truffles, Maine lobster, and Japanese beef -- and they were not even halfway through the menu. Whether anyone had room for the dessert is not known. It was a giant gingerbread pyramid. (The complete menu is printed below.)
The meal was served on the 65th floor of the luxurious Lebua Hotel.
Nothing was overlooked. Even the wine pairings were carefully thought out. About $200,000 of some of the finest wines in the world, including rare Rothschild estate wines, considered some of the best of the last century, were included, according to Britain's Guardian newspaper. The menu also featured some of the best French champagnes.
Deepak Ohri, Lebua's managing director and one of the event's organizers admitted $30,000 is a lot to pay for a meal.
"When we look at only dinner, yes, it is expensive," he told the AP. "But when you look at the whole experience, it's the experience of a lifetime."