Catering Ideas for a Black Tie Event

A black-tie event is a formal social event where the term “black tie” refers to a dress code. The black tie event is a less formal version of a white tie event and comes from 19th-century British and American traditions. In Singapore, gala dinners, balls and high-profile charity events are usually black-tie events. At a black-tie event, men dress up in an ensemble of a white dress shirt, black bow tie, waistcoat and a tuxedo. The ladies usually dress in a ball gown with evening shoes. There are no strict rules about colour for the ladies.

When it comes to food, a black-tie event usually has a few courses:

  1. Hors d’oeuvre – A fancy French term for appetizers or starters.
  2. The first course – a light course before the main course
  3. The main course – The main highlight and the most filling course
  4. Cheeses and beverages – wide selection of cheese and crackers with accompanying beverages
  5. Dessert – Something fancy and sweet to end the meal

And of course, if you opt for a halal friendly setting, no alcohol will be served. Hiring a food caterer in Singapore that has extensive experience in catering for such high-profile events is a must!


With starters, you prepare your guests for the spectacular dishes ahead. Make sure you just have small bites with flavours that are not too strong. Black-tie events are formal, classy and well put together so the food should reflect the same! Ingredients used must be of top quality and presentation should be well thought out and beautiful.

The most classic choices include oysters, sushi rolls or thai shrimps. Here are some examples:

  • Sushi Rolls
  • Thai Shrimps
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Cheese, basil, tomato, olives on crackers
  • Bruschetta
  • Canapé
  • Crudités
  • Chicken Cocktail Weiners

A full bar will that serves signature fresh juices, mocktails, iced teas are choices be perfect for a black tie event.

First Course

The first course should be light yet appealing. It can be as light as soup with bread or something more filling like pasta or seafood. The first course can also be a vegetable-based meal as well. Here are some ideas

  • Lasagne bolognese
  • Chicken and sweetcorn soup
  • Squid ink risotto
  • Japanese Soba
  • Tuna Spaghetti
  • Ravioli with goat’s cheese
  • Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables
  • Potato Gnocchi

Main Course

Now the main course should be a showstopper! Dishes with lobster or tender beef would be perfect. Other options include baked salmon roulade or chicken with corn served with blackberry sauce. Delight your guests with a mouth-watering main course. Here are some ideas:

  • Seafood paella with scallops and prawns
  • Steak glazed with Whiskey and grilled potatoes
  • Spinach and Feta Pie
  • Beef Bourguignon
  • Chicken Thigh with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
  • Pan-seared salmon or tuna

Cheese Course

Cheese can be considered a digestive and a variety of cheeses should be served. The variety should include mild cheeses like gouda all the way to the pungent, like blue cheese. Also, remember to balance the texture of cheeses by having hard cheeses like cheddar, semi-soft like mozzarella and soft ones like brie. To provide a contrast in texture, provide crispy crackers or bread. Throw in butter if you like.


The final meal of the party is dessert. While everything else is fantastic, never let your guests down when it comes to dessert. Tiramisu, strawberry soup, crepes and chocolate mousse are some of the most common black tie party desserts. They look more royal when served in champagne or martini glasses. Specialty coffee with whipped cream makes a nice formal dessert too.

There will be plenty of other choices for the menu…so the sky, or your wallet, is the limit! Remember, the more premium the ingredients and complex the preparation, the more expensive it will get. If money is not an issue, go for it. When you have decided on the theme and know the profile of guests that are attending, you can start discussing with your food caterer, they may have some creative yet cost-saving ideas too!

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