Guide: How to Say “Hidangan Utama” in English

Gaining proficiency in a foreign language involves not only knowing how to translate words, but also understanding their contextual nuances and cultural connotations. In the Indonesian language, “hidangan utama” refers to the main course of a meal. Translating it accurately into English requires consideration of both formal and informal ways of expression. In this guide, we will explore various ways to say “hidangan utama” in English, providing tips, examples, and regional variations when necessary.

Formal Ways to Say “Hidangan Utama” in English

When using English in formal contexts, it is important to choose words and phrases that convey a sense of professionalism. Here are some formal alternatives for “hidangan utama”:

  1. Main course: This is a direct translation of “hidangan utama” and is widely understood in English-speaking countries.
  2. Entrée: Although this term typically refers to a starter dish in American English, it carries a different meaning in British English. In the UK, “entrée” refers to the main course, making it a suitable translation for “hidangan utama” in formal settings.
  3. Dish of honor: This phrase is often used in formal events or banquets to emphasize the significance of the main course on the menu.
  4. Principal dish: This expression highlights the importance and prominence of the main course in a formal meal.

Here are a few examples of how to use these formal alternatives:

Guest 1: What is the main course for tonight’s dinner?

Host: The dish of honor is traditional roast beef.

Speaker: Thank you all for joining us at this formal gala. Please enjoy the principal dish, prepared by our renowned chef.

Informal Ways to Say “Hidangan Utama” in English

Informal settings offer more flexibility and allow for a more casual tone. Here are some informal ways to refer to the main course in English:

  1. Main dish: This is a simple and commonly used phrase to describe the central component of a meal.
  2. Star of the show: This figurative expression adds a touch of excitement and emphasizes the significance of the main course.
  3. Centerpiece: Often used metaphorically, “centerpiece” compares the main course to a decorative focal point that commands attention.
  4. Hero dish: This phrase conveys a sense of admiration and suggests that the main course is the standout item on the menu.

Consider the following examples to better understand these informal alternatives:

Friend 1: What are we having for dinner tonight?

Friend 2: The star of the show is a mouthwatering roasted chicken with all the trimmings.

Food Blogger: A well-executed dessert can sometimes steal the spotlight, but let’s not forget the main dish, which is often the centerpiece of a memorable meal.

Regional Variations

Language is not static, and variations can emerge across different regions and communities. While English is spoken worldwide, certain regional variations may warrant consideration:

American English:

American English tends to use the term “main course” as the standard translation for “hidangan utama.” It is widely understood and accepted in both formal and informal contexts.

British English:

In British English, “main course” and “entrée” are used interchangeably to refer to the main dish. However, there is a clearer distinction in Britain, with “starter” being used for appetizers and “main course” or “entrée” referring to the main dish that follows.


Waiter: Are you ready to order your main course?

Customer: Yes, I’d like the fish and chips, please.


Mastering the art of translation requires not only linguistic knowledge but also an understanding of cultural and contextual factors. When it comes to translating “hidangan utama” into English, formal alternatives like “main course,” “entrée,” “dish of honor,” or “principal dish” are appropriate for formal occasions. In more informal settings, “main dish,” “star of the show,” “centerpiece,” or “hero dish” can be used to describe the main course. Regional variations exist, such as the distinction between American and British English terminology. By applying these tips and examples, you can confidently express the concept of “hidangan utama” in English while maintaining the appropriate tone for any situation.

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