Well, I’ve been to a three-course, five-course and even a seven-course dinner (once, in the Excelsior hotel in Malta with the British Guild of Travel Writers). But a nine-course dinner was something I’d never heard of. While in Debrecen, I was invited by the mayor to a wine tasting evening in one of the town’s best restaurants, Ikon, that  would be accompanied by a Hungarian cellar’s wines. How could I refuse (even though I had nothing to wear)?

I’m sure you want to know what a nine-course meal entails. There are several points to note.

Firstly, the portions are not enormous. It would have been impossible to go through nine courses with full plates.

Secondly, like in many N-course meals where N > 3 there will be a small amuse-bouche, namely, a small hors d’oeuvre which the chef has prepared to “amuse your palate”.

One of the courses is very likely to be a consomme. Another, early on, is likely to be fish or seafood.

Just before the main course which is the N-1th course (in our case the eighth) you will eat a sorbet to cleanse the palate. A seven-course meal is likely to offer sorbet as the fifth course, as the sixth will be ‘the main’.

Finally, the last course will deffo be pudding. No surprises there.

Anyway, here are the courses for you. I photographed them with my HTC camera so apologies for the picture quality. The wines (seven different ones overall) stemmed from the vineyards of the 1000-year old Pannonhalma Abbey who co-organised the event with the Ikon restaurant. I thoroughly recommend their Sauvignon  Blanc and their Pinot Noir.

The cost? £40. Yep, Hungary is such good value for money at the moment.