Updated: Oct 24
In this filler-length game from Strawberry Studio, the haute cuisine theme is all in the artwork by Magdalena Markowska. Each of the large format cards on which the 2–4 players are bidding represent exotic dishes. Each of these has a points value (1-4) and the majority provide a bonus for the owner when bidding in subsequent auctions. The object of the game is to end up with the highest number of points when all 12 dishes have been claimed.
The game itself, designed by Gilad Yarnitzky, comprises a series of 12 blind bid auctions. At the start of the game, 20 plastic gems (five of each of the four colours) are placed in a bag. A gem of each colour is drawn and placed on a market track so that the first colour drawn is value 1 and the fourth colour is value 4. Players then draw from the bag so that each starts with five gems (four in a 4-player game). They conceal these in their left hand. For each round of bidding, you make a fist with your right hand to conceal the gems you want to bid in that auction. The highest bid wins the card; their gems go into the bag and the market is adjusted so that any colour used in the winning bid is reduced in value by 1 (to a minimum of 1) and any not used is increased by 1 (to a maximum of 4). Players who bid zero in a round get to draw another gem from the bag.
Tho' this is a simple game, there's scope for strategy in deciding when and where to focus your bids, and in securing cards that give you combo advantages in subsequent bidding. You always have sight of the next three cards coming up for auction so you can plan your bidding accordingly; deciding which rounds to bid zero so that build up your wealth to win the cards you are especially keen to win.
You'll have fun with this quick-fire game. And you'll find it every bit as satisfying as that Black Caviar Lobster Omelette that you wash down with Gold Flake Coffee.