It’s strange that while the rest of us cost-conscious diners debate extra toppings or an additional side, there are people out there spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on a single meal. No, really! From appetizers to desserts to entire tasting menus, the wealthy are out and about in the world spending the equivalent of your monthly/annual grocery budget on a lone, sit-down meal. Still, it’s pretty dang intriguing to see what those meals end up being.
Want to see what they get for their money? Are you ready to have your mind blown with meals that you and I could never afford (or justifying, if we somehow could)? Let’s get to it then and flip out about how much the well-to-dos of the world are out there spending and eating.
9. The Tasting Menu @ Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet ($579) // Shanghai, China
Conceived by acclaimed chef and former student of science Paul Pairet, 10 guests come together around a single table for a 20-course, avante-garde menu that’s supremely enhanced with “a multi-sensory atmosphere of music, video, scents, and simulations.”
No decor, no artifacts, no paintings, no views. The menus rotate on alternate weeks, and each dish is more than just that, it’s an immersive experience — where dishes play jokes and walls move.
8. Dinner Menu @ Masa ($595) // New York
Inside this restaurant, there’s a serious dedication to the art of cuisine and hospitality. If you dig sushi and have a wallet that’s been working out, this is your kingdom for an evening.
Founder and sushi master Chef Masayoshi Takayama spent his whole life perfecting the craft, and folks with a few hundred bucks can see what it’s like to dine on the best sushi in the States. Meanwhile, gratuities are not expected or accepted at the restaurant, so…maybe that’ll save you a few bucks?
7. The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata @ Norma’s Restaurant ($650) // New York
It looks like a curious lifeform from outer space, but this colorful deal at the restaurant found in Manhattan’s Le Parker Meridien Hotel is no joke. It’s the world’s most expensive omelette, which makes sense since its main ingredients, aside from eggs, is lobster and caviar.
Seriously, the American Sturgeon caviar that’s heaped atop the breakfast dish is worth $650 alone. However, the restaurant staff wants the decadent menu item to be available to more folks, so they also offer a version of it that’s a cool $100.
6. The Tasting Experience @ SubliMotion ($2,000) // Ibiza, Spain
For starters, I never expected something this innovative to be found in a Hard Rock Hotel. This curious dining operation was opened three years ago by Michelin 2-star chef, Paco Roncero who uses molecular gastronomy in his dishes.
Secondly, this a three-hour experience. For the notably hefty price, 12 guests sit together at a table and enjoy a single tasting menu, with the aid of 25 professionals. Meanwhile, the table and walls of the futuristic room basically work as screens, rotating the vibe and scene, ensuring that the moody swirl of food, tech, and art make for a wildly unique meal.
5. White Truffle and Gold Pizza @ Margo’s ($2,420) // Valletta, Malta
This magnificently decadent pizza is only available while white truffles are in season, typically October through May. Its ingredients include white truffles, fresh organic water buffalo mozzarella, and a 24-carat gold leaf.
As the menu puts it, “This is not just a pizza; this is a sign from God telling us how great She is.” The staff requires a head’s up at least a week in advance because the white truffles are flown in that very day. By the way, that price you see actually changes depending on the truffle market.
4. FleurBurger 5000 @ Fleur ($5,000) // Las Vegas, Nevada
Burgers have become a crafty wonder in recent years with celebrated chefs taking on the American classic in their own fancy way. However, no one — and I mean no one — is doing it fancier than Chef Hubert Keller.
At his restaurant Fleur, tucked inside Mandalay Bay, the man sells what has to be the most expensive burger. It includes a patty of Wagyu beef, which itself is $100 per pound, as well as a mound of sliced black truffles, which proves to be about $1,500 per pound. Then there are slabs of foie gras, which is made cheap by comparison of $45 per pound, and it’s all tucked between brioche truffle buns. You also receive a bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus, a vintage that carries a $2,500 price tag all by itself.
3. Louis XIII Pizza @ Renato Viola ($8,786) // Salerno, Italy
Only very few people get to eat this pizza that’s made on-site (as in, your own home) by a catering team. Its ingredients include Caviar Oscietra Royal Prestige, Caviar Kaspia Oscietra Royal Classic, and Beluga Caviar Kaspia, so…the price tag kind of makes sense. It’s a pizza with caviar as the main topping.
Toppings for this pizza also include prawns (Red Acciaroli from Cilento), lobster (Palinurus Elephas), and mantis shrimp (Squilla Mantis), along with organic buffalo mozzarella. Finally, the meal is served with Remy Martin Cognac Louis XIII and Champagne Krug Clos du Mesnil 1995. Your pizzas have probably been different.
2. The Posh Pie @ The Lord Dudley Hotel ($12,000) // Sydney, Australia
In the suburb of Paddington, Chef Paul Medcalf basically took a fancy interpretation of “surf and turf” and put it into (gigantic) meat pie form. Inside are two different cuts of premium beef and two whole West Australian rock lobsters, along with two bottles of Penfolds Grange Reserve.
You’ll also find rare Winter Black truffles and dried Italian porcini mushrooms inside. Finally, the whole thing is topped off with a German gold leaf because of course it is. How could it not be?
1. The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence @ The Fortress Resort and Spa ($14,500) // Galle, Sri Lanka
Now, this is a first-class dessert. It’s more of a delicacy, really, and probably the world’s most expensive act of satisfying a sweet tooth at that. The kitchen team takes a gold leaf Italian cassata, flavors it with Irish cream that’s infused with tender fruit, and then serves it with a mango and pomegranate compote as well as a bubbly-based Dom Perignon champagne sabayon.
It’s then decorated with “a signature Fortress handmade chocolate carving in the shape of a local stilt fisherman clinging onto his stilt.” Somehow, that’s not even the highlight. What actually is the big finish is the 80-carat Aquamarine stone that comes with it, since the gem has a diameter as wide as a soup spoon. How the heck does anyone ever enjoy another dessert after eating this? You don’t.