When you photograph food at a restaurant you usually have little control over the lighting. To complicate matters, some food melts as soon as it arrives on your table. Food looks nicer when there is texture sculpted by directional lighting. What can you do?
Pick a table near the door or window in the day time. Set your aperture to somewhere in the midrange. Here I chose f5.6. The focus point is along the plane of the spoon. The limited depth-of-field rendered a graduated effect, hiding the imperfections of the table surface. Metal utensils always look good when lit with diffused light from one direction. So choose your table wisely (if at all possible).
Get the exposure and lighting figured out while waiting for the food. When the dish drops, you are ready to shoot. Be fair to your dining partner(s). Importantly, don’t sweat it if you can’t get the lighting right. You are there to enjoy the food, ambience and company.
Haji Shariff’s Cendol in Seremban is reputedly the best ice dessert and rojak in town. The eatery is housed in a pre-war shop house painted in beautiful green. It is not easy finding a good table at this usually crowded restaurant. Foreign viewers, please see earlier post about Klang Cendol for a description of this popular delicacy.