Feb 06, 2014

    Soon: Smell posh nosh via phone

    SPANISH restaurant Mugaritz, ranked the fourth-best restaurant in the world, is developing a mobile app that will allow diners to get a whiff of their dinner from their smartphone.

    Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz has teamed up with a Japanese technology firm to work on an app that would diffuse the smell of the restaurant's dishes from a small plug-in accessory that connects to the phone via the earphone jack, AFP Relaxnews reported.

    The diffuser, called Scentee, releases a whiff simulating the aromas of the meal from a cartridge.

    The app and cartridge are already available and can be used to send scents of coffee, wine or perfume. The concept was unveiled at gastronomy festival Madrid Fusion last month, Fine Dining Lovers reported, and is being developed with Professor Adrian Cheok from City University in London.

    "The app opens up new vistas for people around the world who may not have had the opportunity to physically dine in the restaurant to virtually experience the real smell of gourmet food," Prof Cheok told Fine Dining Lovers.

    Mugaritz in San Sebastian, which serves Spanish-style molecular gastronomy, has two Michelin stars.

    The restaurant has been among the top 10 of the World's 50 Best Restaurants - a ranking sponsored by S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna - since 2006.

    For now, the device is marketed as a smartphone add-on that releases scents with specific alerts and notifications - think coffee aromas nudging you awake, or the smell of lavender every time your favourite person calls.

    The small balloon-like device ships worldwide for US$35 (S$44), while cartridges are US$5 on Scentee's website.

    Aromas that are available include strawberry, lavender, coffee and rosemary.

    The app is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.